The Leafs’ coach and general manager search has been well-documented, but one of the big questions it brings with it is whether they even need to go outside the organization at all – particularly on the manager side.
Lack of NHL experience between Hunter and Dubas is usually the argument for pursuing the likes of Futa, Brisebois, or even a more well-known name like McPhee, among others. But there’s also been this rumor floating around that Hunter simply doesn’t want the job, instead choosing to keep his focus on scouting junior games and staying out of the spotlight. And that might not reflect reality.
Darren Dreger and Dave Naylor of TSN1050 chatted yesterday about the Leafs’ front office in its current operating state, and shed some light on how they could choose to move forward.
Regarding the general management duties right now, Dreger had this to say.
“It sounds a little bit like it’s by committee. Obviously Shanahan is very active, and he was very active even when Dave Nonis was general manager…But I had one GM tell me today that he’s received calls from Mark Hunter on behalf of the Leafs, inquiries specific to what a manager would do. Without an entitled general manager, it’s all hands on deck – I’m sure Dubas is making calls too. But it was curious because I’ve also heard whispers that maybe Mark Hunter wouldn’t mind the full-time NHL job.”
This doesn’t seem like too bad of a setup to me. And if these guys are already diving into the management responsibilities and hitting the phones, they’re gaining what everyone believes they lack: NHL experience.
But as for Hunter and this idea that he wants to scout and perhaps steer clear of the wheeling and dealing aspects of the job at the pro level, the Leafs may have a solution, according to Dreger.
“Toronto seems to want to re-write what is, or has been, conventional management. Maybe you don’t have to be a full time general manager in the sense that you’re doing everything a manager usually does, maybe you can dissect the role a little so you’re doing more scouting or that type of work.”
The first part of this quote is the key to my heart. Toronto, the biggest franchise with the most money, not necessarily chasing a big name from the NHL’s old boys club, and instead, doing things their own way to find out what works.