Brendan Shanahan is entering his third season as president of the Maple Leafs after spending several years in the league office. While he’s used to being in a winning environment as a player (12 straight postseason appearances to end his career and three Stanley Cups), that level of success isn’t there just yet with the Maple Leafs. Shanahan spoke with MLive’s Aaron McMann to talk about the process:
“It’s really about developing a culture. It’s something that is said a lot but much harder to do than to say. We’re at the beginning of a rebuilding process, and certainly my experience early in my career in New Jersey and during the prime of my career here in Detroit when we won those championships, is something I’ve leaned on.”
Toronto finished dead last in 2015-16 and weren’t much better the year before, finishing 15th of 16 teams in the Eastern Conference. However, they have assembled a promising collection of youngsters in 2016 first overall selection Auston Matthews plus recent top picks in Mitch Marner and William Nylander while going out and adding Frederik Andersen from Anaheim, giving them a quality starting goaltender. As a result, it’s likely that they will start to make their move up the standings this coming season.
More out of Toronto:
- Left winger Brandon Prust says his ankle is “back to normal” after being shut down in March to focus on rehab, writes TSN’s Kristen Shilton. Prust will be attending training camp with the Leafs with the hopes of earning a spot on the roster to help protect what should be a very young lineup. However, the team also added Matt Martin in free agency to play that type of role so Prust will be in tough to earn a spot on the roster.
- After asking to be traded by Columbus back in September of last season, left winger Kerby Rychel is excited for a new opportunity after the Leafs acquired him back at the draft, notes Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star. Despite Toronto’s surplus of young players, Rychel believes that will benefit him, even if it makes his push for a roster spot more difficult. The 21 year old played in 32 games last season collecting just nine points but is just three years removed from being the 19th overall pick in the draft. On a team looking for scoring help, Rychel should be among the many youngsters to get a look in training camp.