Buck stops with Brendan Shanahan if Leafs go south

Kyle Dubas is out as Maple Leafs general manager but president Brendan Shanahan remains. If Toronto fails to improve on its 2022-23 showing next season, regardless of who the coach or players are, Shanahan will be held responsible for the course correction gone wrong.

Video Transcript

AMIT MANN: I really feel now, the Leafs take a step back next year. Next year, that's on Brendan Shanahan. That is on Brendan Shanahan because he's the man who walked away from Kyle Dubas. And if he brings in a GM that takes a step back, if the Leafs go back to being a one-and-done team in the playoffs or missing the postseason, if you're MLSE how do you not put this on Shanahan next season if you regress, how?

OMAR: If they miss, he has to be gone, like has to be. And a lot of people have mentioned this already. I'm surprised he's not gone now. But hey, whatever.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I said this last week. I was very surprised. People talk about Keefe. And people talk about Dubas. People talk about players. How come nobody mentioned at any point, hey, what about Brendan Shanahan's future?

That was just a topic that was just kind of thrown up in the air and then swatted down immediately, like, oh, there's no reason to think about Brendan Shanahan's future. I think after this past week, there is.

OMAR: Yep, rightly or wrongly, he chose Dubas over Lou Lamoriello, made the choice, whatever, right?

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Which I think a lot of people saw as the right move at the time, or maybe--

OMAR: Absolutely.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: There were people who were in favor of that move. There were people who were not in favor of that move.

OMAR: I'm not going to walk it back and say that that was the wrong move, absolutely. I think that was the best thing to do. However, he hitched his wagon to Dubas, whether-- successes, disappointments, whatever, that was his person. So I don't understand how Dubas is gone, but then nothing-- but then there's no repercussions with Shanahan.

And then hearing how it took place-- we cover this sport. We watch the game. We know all the BS back and forth. Man, you think other GMs, other people who are watching this saying, oh, wow, you know what? Not only do I want to be the gram of a team that can't make it past the second round four more than five more than five games. I'm also going to deal with a president who may not let me do my job and then perhaps will air out every single detail of why our negotiations fell through and then why I'm not being offered a continuance from there.

Yeah, you know what? I'm definitely going to take that challenge. It's just-- it's weird.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah, but also at the same time, counterpoint. I have a counterpoint here.

OMAR: Yeah?

JULIAN MCKENZIE: If this was like-- not to throw the organization I cover under the bus. If this was Murray Edwards and the Calgary Flames, you were dealing with that, I could totally understand why you'd be like, yeah, I don't know if I want to deal with this and this ownership who does not put as much money into things. Look at what the Saddledome looks like right now.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have MLSE and their money and all the resources that they put into so many things behind the scenes. And whatever ego boost that comes with being the person that says, hey, I fixed the Toronto Maple Leafs, the so-called Mecca of the hockey universe, there's still something about that job that, if you are put in that position and you interview for it, you're not necessarily thinking about Brendan Shanahan era your dirty laundry or the fact that you weren't able to get past the first round on a consistent basis.

There's still some kind of allure. And maybe not some kind, but there is an allure that still comes with that job. And you're still going to get people who go for that position. You just might end up with a Brad Treliving or a Mark Bergevin at the end of it.