Kelly McCrimmon, rumored for weeks now to be mulling over an offer to join the Leafs’ front office, will turn it down. His junior club, the Brandon Wheat Kings, broke the news via their official website this afternoon.
Brandon Wheat Kings’ Owner, General Manager and Head Coach Kelly McCrimmon has announced plans to return for the 2015-16 Western Hockey League season.
McCrimmon himself acknowledged the job offer from the Leafs in the media release.
“I have made the decision to remain with the Wheat Kings…I was honoured to have been considered for a position with the Maple Leafs. It would have been a tremendous opportunity…With our team expected to contend this season, I felt I owed it to the group to stay here and try to help us take the next step”
This is actually a bit of a surprise, as insiders like Dreger were leaning toward McCrimmon taking the job in Toronto. As we noted a few times before, McCrimmon has a big fan currently with the Leafs, in Mike Babcock. Babcock had made it known upon his hire that he considered McCrimmon one of the most respected hockey executives in the country, along with current Leafs director of player personnel, Mark Hunter.
I guess we’ll see now if the Leafs pursue others to fill the position they were offering McCrimmon, or if he was simply a special case they were making room for. It certainly felt like the latter.