Rumor: Shanahan out, another former NHL star to replace him as Leafs' President
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Rumor: Shanahan out, another former NHL star to replace him as Leafs' President

Is this the end of the Shanny Era in Toronto?



While we await decisions on the future of both GM Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs, there's still one prominent member of the team's executive staff that we've yet to hear from: Team President Brendan Shanahan.

By this point of the offseason in years past we'd have already heard from Shanahan with his annual 'stay the course' speech. Shanahan hasn't made any public statements or held any media availabilities in months though. This has led to speculation that maybe Shanahan won't return next season to lead the Leafs.

In his latest column for The Hockey News, Leafs insider David Alter reports that if indeed Shanahan is on his way out then the Leafs could have an internal replacement in assistant general manager Jason Spezza.

More from Alter:

If management is about to change, it'd be wise for Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan or the board at MLSE to lean on Spezza to get the best feel for how to move forward.

Spezza's eye for talent and established relationships with players throughout Toronto's system are valuable and something the Leafs will want to keep, even if they decide to blow it up. It's the same player who spearheaded efforts to create a fund to help the club's AHL team collect some extra money due to pandemic losses.

This season, Spezza has spent every day absorbing many different roles. Known by his peers as a hockey nerd, he's aware of just about every player of the game at every level. When he wasn't at the World Juniors evaluating talent, he was in the trenches with Dubas and the rest of the management team, attending games both home and road and providing valuable insight. Not just from someone who 'played the game' but someone who knows the group.

- David Alter

Fellow Leafs insider and former Toronto Sun reporter Michael Traikos also reports that he "could see" Spezza taking over for Shanahan, as well. And given Traikos' connections within the team's executive staff I suspect that this is more than just speculation. It wouldn't be the first time that Traikos was bang on with a prediction weeks before anyone else in the Toronto media picks up the story.

Stay tuned. It's about to get interesting in Toronto this offseason.

Source: David Alter