A couple weeks ago we heard that the Leafs could be linked to Kelly McCrimmon of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings for a management role. Actually, upon hire, Mike Babcock name-dropped him specifically as one of the best hockey people in the country.
Toronto has now formally interviewed the former CHL Executive of the Year for a spot in their front office group, but they might not be the only NHL team looking to bring him aboard.
Brandon Wheat King GM-coach Kelly McCrimmon interviewed for a management position (not GM) with TOR last week.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 1, 2015
Initially there was some speculation that McCrimmon could be brought on to fill the potential void left by moving Mark Hunter to the general manager’s chair. That may be the plan, but Shanahan has been keeping things fairly close-lipped on whether the team is searching elsewhere or promoting in-house.
“Mark Hunter, when they hired Hunts last year, I said “home run.” The two guys that I know are two of the best hockey men period are a guy named Kelly McCrimmon and there’s a guy named Mark Hunter. They’re the guys for me. They flat out just do it year after year after year. They find players. They can smell them. So that right there for me when I heard last year, I said right away, “There’s a hire. That’s a hockey man.” When I met with Hunts and Shanny when I first got in here that day, I can talk to that guy. He’s a hockey man.
This is definitely something to keep an eye on, as by all accounts McCrimmon seems like a smart hire, and bringing him aboard could give us some indications of what the Shanaplan is for a new general manager.
McKenzie also indicated McCrimmon has a number of options throughout the NHL, so we’ll see if the Leafs have to use the “dump truck full of money” move they’ve been exercising recently.