Brendan Shanahan has been the chief player disciplinarian at the NHL’s Department of Player Safety since June 2011, but his days as a league executive are coming to an end.
Citing multiple sources, the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox reported Thursday that Shanahan is headed to Toronto to accept a front-office position with the Maple Leafs.
“Shanahan, according to multiple sources, will resign his position as the NHL’s director of player safety as early as Friday and immediately join the Leafs this weekend as the team closes out a disappointing season,” Cox writes.
“While his precise job could not be confirmed, sources suggest the Hall of Fame winger will likely be named president of the Leafs hockey club, not only president of hockey operations.”
TSN’s Bob McKenzie confirmed Cox’s report.
Who would replace Shanahan in the Department of Player Safety if he does join the Leafs? Cox suggests Mike Murphy and Kris King are potential candidates.
Shanahan doesn’t have any hockey connections to the Original Six club, but he is from Ontario and fully understands what the Leafs mean to the greater Toronto area.
Building the Leafs back into a legitimate Stanley Cup contender won’t be an easy task for Shanahan. The team collapsed over the final month of the regular season and missed the playoffs for the eighth time in the last nine years. Its roster has many holes, and there are few top-tier prospects coming up through the system.
Shanahan played in the NHL for five different teams during a 23-year career, which included three Stanley Cup titles (1997, 1998, 2002 with Detroit) and a Hockey Hall of Fame induction.