Rumor: Maple Leafs coach leaving to join the Nashville Predators.

Leafs about to lose an important piece.

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In spite of the fact that they will almost certainly be disappointed with their playoff performance after another 1st round exit against the Boston Bruins in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, there is no question that the Toronto Maple Leafs had a very successful season. It was the best season that team has seen in a long time, but unfortunately success comes with some rather unique pitfalls. 

When you are doing well everyone wants to look at you and try to figure out why it is that you are having so much success, this can lead to 2 different scenarios. Either teams will look to you to try and emulate the things that have made you successful or they will identify the reason for your success and attempt to outright steal the things that generate that success from under you. 

It appears that the Nashville Predators will be taking the latter approach as it now appears that they are attempting to poach a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs coaching staff. In his most recent 31 Thoughts column Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that the Predators have targeted Maple Leafs assistant coach Jim Hiller, and by the sound of things it sounds like there is a good chance that the Predators will land his services. 

From Friedman:

Another Toronto assistant, Jim Hiller, has blanket permission to interview with anyone, and is not expected back. Nashville is believed to be among the interested teams. Makes sense as Hiller has a reputation for power-play expertise.

The fact that the Maple Leafs have given him blanket permission to speak to whatever teams he wants would be an indication that, even if the Predators fail in their bid to get him, his time as a Toronto Maple Leaf has come to an end for the foreseeable future. This would also appear to indicate that there may be multiple teams interested in his services, either that or the Maple Leafs are quite convinced that he will be taking the offer from the Nashville Predators. 

No word yet from Friedman on what other teams may have interest in Hiller, but the fact that he named the Predators specifically would appear to indicate that they should be considered the favorites.