NHL Canadian Corner – April 11, 2014

Game recaps, the Leafs to hire Brendan Shanahan as team president, Ryan Smyth to retire and more news involving your favorite Canadian NHL teams.

Brendan Shanahan to become the Leafs new team president.

Brendan Shanahan to become the Leafs new team president.

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs lackluster 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers (spoiling the long-awaited NHL debut of PEI native Drew MacIntyre) was overshadowed by the news Brendan Shanahan was leaving his job as league disciplinarian to become the Leafs new team president.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best reaction I read to the news of the Leafs hiring Shanahan came from one of my Twitter followers: “Shanny used to punishment”. At this stage in Leafs history, who else but a masochist would want the role of team president? Okay, okay, simmer down, Leafs fans. Just a little joke. I can understand Shanahan’s desire to take on a new challenge. This one – helping to turn the Leafs into not just a playoff contender, but a legit Stanley Cup contender – is arguably the biggest challenge a hockey man can accept. Shanny will be trying to succeed where so many notable hockey executives have failed. I wish him the best of luck, he’s gonna need it. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens listless 2-0 loss to the NY Islanders jeopardizes their hopes for home ice advantage against the Tampa Bay Lightning in their upcoming playoff series. The Canadiens are one point ahead of the Lightning, who hold a game in hand over the Habs. The Canadiens also got word forward Alex Galchenyuk (knee injury) will miss that opening round.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs will enter this series missing a key player to injury, as the Lightning’s starting goalie Ben Bishop could miss the opening games with an upper body injury.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators continued the New Jersey Devils shootout miseries this season with a 2-1 victory. Erik Karlsson tallied the winning goal.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers lifeless 3-0 loss to the LA Kings is overshadowed by word veteran Oiler Ryan Smyth is expected to announce his retirement today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if Smyth will continue with the Oilers in a front office role. He could’ve tried to sign with another NHL team but I think it’s obvious he had no interest in doing that. He at least gets to retire as an Oiler.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks commemorated the start of the Trevor Linden era with a 4-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What, you were expecting they’d be inspired to pull off a win for their one-time captain turned new president of hockey operations?

WINNIPEG SUN: Call-up goalie Michael Hutchinson made 36 saves backstopping the Jets to a 2-1 shootout win over the Boston Bruins.

CALGARY SUN: Flames goalie Karri Ramo is having a strong finish to this season.


  1. More I think about it the more I like Shanny for the job, not like his former job was probably full of praise either, lots of connections with other gms and scouts from
    lague and league offices time spent around organizations like St louis the wings and Rangers who all had great operations. Years as one of the great leaders on what ever team he was on…maybe not much experience on a teams front office per say but a lot of attributes and skills that are cross compatible for success. Have to wait and see if it translates , but over all I think it will improve the Leafs.

    • Shanny is nothing more then a Voice for MLSE. Nonis won’t address the Media (barely) and Tim knows this can’t continue so they hired Shanny as an ambassador. This also buys Tim another year. The staus quo remains for another year with Nonis at the helm Shanny as the “Burke type” (less aggressive) voice to the media.

      This is the Lipstick on the pig

      MLSE, the Goldman sacks of the hockey world.

    • Yeah – gets Shanny out of his VP of Player Safety role in which he has been inconsistent and bias with his rulings. Essentially, Shanny got his job wrong – so taking over as President of the Leafs will be right up his alley. Makes me wonder if the Leafs become a more physical team with this move.

  2. Lol seriously you need to get out mpre or something your positvity is infectious. Look on the bright side it gives you another name to botch and whine about. :-)

    • You live in Homer Simpson’s land of chocolate. Time to come back to the real world.

      Leafs have made the Playoffs once in 9 years. Be as positive as you like, you are probably one of those guys who buys in at the top of the stock market and when it crashes you blame your broker for not informing you about the coming crash because you can’t see what’s really going on. You live day to day without trying to see what the future holds by what the past has told you.

      Wings make the playoffs 23 years straight. Now there’s something to be positive about. MLSE’s latest move… I don’t think so.

  3. Right the Wings have been great so they went out and got a guy who spent alot of time in their organizaton won cups world championships and olympic gold medals with them and Yzerman, spent time with other great organizations in Nj with Lou and on the Rangers with Sather, and played a pretty big role in the league, discussing matter with all kinds of other execs…youre right terrible choice. Maybe they are following the Edmonton model you love so much?

    • Sorry buddy you lost me I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

      • The Leafs went out and hired a guy that has spent alot of time around guys and organizations run by guys like Holland Sather Lou, won championships Gold medals and cups been with the league and dealt with rules and issues with the cba, probably been around the office with guys from scouting and has had to deal with meetings with other execs and gms around the league, he is not taking over as GM so the whole he dosent have experience thing doesnt matter as much I think the guy has enough experience in other areas and situations that he would have a pretty good idea what a good organization should run like, simmilar to Yzerman. OR MAYBE Leiweke reads this blog and thought your idea of using the Oiler model was a good one and just brought in Shanny to insure more losses so tje Leafs could finnish in the bottom 5 for a decade instead of these pesky 9th and 10th place spots.

        • Well now that you mention the Oilers model it’s not looking any worse then the Leaf model considering neither team made the playoffs. The Oilers look to be on the rise and the Leafs look like a team on the decline. Leafs have $50M committed on 12 guys, Oilers have $47M committed to 15 guys and I believe the Leafs have more RFA issues due to arb rights. The Leafs defense is just as bad as the Oilers, Leafs goaltending is better then the Oilers but the Oil have just addressed this issue and you may see a much different team next year. I would say the forward group for each team is about the same. Oilers biggest mistake was taking Yak instead of trading down and grabbing a D man. I laugh when you try and convince me the Oilers model is brutal but the Leaf model of tanking/choking 2 of the past three years is so awesome.

          • Not awsome but better than the Oilers who still have fans throwing jerseys on the ice why not ask them how much they are enjoying your way to model a franchise.