Toronto Maple Leafs: Brendan Shanahan rips off the band-aid

Kyle Dubas GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs and President Brendan Shanahan. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Kyle Dubas GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs and President Brendan Shanahan. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs front office will now move forward with Lou Lamoriello and Mark Hunter leaving, as Brendan Shanahan keeps the car in drive.

Despite losing two vital components of the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ management team, Brendan Shanahan knows that things have to move forward. It was clear when he named Kyle Dubas the general manager and every decision after that has been to the point.

When it was announced that Lou Lamoriello was taking a job with the New York Islanders, it was a move many expected. Yet there were some questioning the decision to move on from the 75-year-old executive, given what he was able to accomplish during his tenure.

Then there’s Mark Hunter and the many questions surrounding his future with the team once Dubas was announced. It appears that his decision to leave has opened up a major debate in the aftermath of Dubas being hired.

Where Shanahan should be commended is ensuring a proper working structure for his new general manager. He realized that once Hunter was not on board with the current management structure, it was best to let him go instead of forcing him to stay.

Sure Hunter’s eye for talent has been noticeable during his tenure with the Leafs, but Dubas was Shanahan’s guy since he was brought in and it’s tough to think Hunter didn’t know that. He will likely find a GM job somewhere in the NHL, just like the Leafs will most likely find someone who can replace Hunter.

Shanahan even told Prime Time Sports that he wanted to be ahead of the curve, rather than stand by and let these moves catch him off guard:

"“Decisions were going to have to be made. If I didn’t make them this summer, I would’ve had essentially all three of them walking up on expired contracts. I don’t think [keeping the trio together] was realistic, and I say that out of fairness to them.“When people do a good job, especially in Toronto — with the media that we have here, and the spotlight that is here — people from other organizations want them. Other owners call. Other GMs call.”"

He also said that people doubted whether a management team with so many varying opinions would be able to co-exist. Clearly it has, and the only reason it is changing is because each person wanted to take the wheel.

There can only be one driver, however, and Shanahan is confident that Dubas can maintain a long-term goal of sustained success and now he has the chance to do it his way.

Next: Is Justin Faulk worth pursuing to help the blueline?

What do you think about the recent moves? Should the Toronto Maple Leafs have done more to keep Lamoriello or Hunter around? Let us know in the comments below.