Forced into an early reveal by rumors that spread on Thursday night — apparently the defense is as leaky in Toronto’s front office as it is on the ice — the Maple Leafs confirmed this morning that Brendan Shanahan has been appointed to the position of President and Alternate Governor of the struggling club.
It’s a sensible career move for the Hall of Famer, who leaves a thankless gig as the NHL’s chief disciplinarian in order to oversee all team operations for a club that could really use a firm hand after missing out on the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years.
And given the reputation for innovative thinking and consensus building that he earned during his tenure with the league — remember the post-lockout Shanahan Summit that led to the creation of the competition committee and implemented ways of enhancing skill and speeding up the game? — he seems like a fairly safe bet for the Leafs, too. Shanny’s shy on front office experience, but he’s a guy who has proved that he can learn on the job, a skill that will come in handy as he takes on this new exercise. And he has some seriously thick skin, a necessary tool for anyone signing on with this organization.