As the dust begins to settle following Blue Sunday, the Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot of hockey people to hire.
The purge of the old regime this weekend was dramatic and thorough, and now Brendan Shanahan and his inner sanctum – which includes Mark Hunter, Brandon Pridham and Kyle Dubas – will have to fill out their staff. Among the people the Maple Leafs are expected to pursue is Arizona Coyotes goaltending coach and assistant to the general manager Sean Burke, though reportedly they’re not interested in installing him into the role of Maple Leafs general manager.
Now that the season is over Sean Burke will look for a new team. Toronto will be a pursuer, although not for the GM position. Burke has a history with Lou Lamoriello, so there is some curiosity to see if the Devils are interested in adding anyone. If Arizona does not get one of the top two picks, could that affect Maloney’s future? If so, does that mean Burke stays? Don’t know if there is a franchise with more on the line at the lottery than the Coyotes.
Burke is a veteran hockey man and has experience working both as a coach and as a front office executive, so he’d certainly bring a useful perspective to the table. Though he’s a former teammate of Shanahan’s, he doesn’t have the experience that the Maple Leafs’ management team lacks and is expected to look for in a new general manager, so it’s not a huge surprise that he wouldn’t be considered for that job.
So can the Maple Leafs carve out a spot for Burke? Whether it’s the talented Coyotes goaltending coach and assistant, or someone else, the Maple Leafs are willing and able to get creative in solving problems and sussing out a niche for talented people.
“The clear message from Brendan Shanahan’s Monday media conference was Toronto is willing to be unconventional to get the right people,” Friedman wrote on Tuesday. “If the Maple Leafs want you, they’ll find a spot and make it work.”