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3 Leafs questions that will hopefully become answers at Friday’s press conference

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
1 month ago
Since the players and coaches said their final public goodbyes during locker-room clean-out day on Monday, it’s been eerily quiet in Toronto.
Too quiet.
That said, business is about to pick up in a big way on Friday morning as Keith Pelley, Brendan Shanahan, and Brad Treliving will address the media following the team’s latest disappointing first round exit.
Needless to say, Leafs Nation will be watching with bated breath —especially with all the uncertainty surrounding the squad entering the offseason.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH SHELDON KEEFE?

EDIT: As of Thursday, May 9th, Sheldon Keefe has been relieved of his duties as head coach. One down.
This one comes with a huge asterisk because news on this front could break at any moment. In pro sports, the head coach is the easiest scapegoat, so that’s why it’s fair to wonder if Keefe could be on the chopping block. He’s won one series in five years at the helm. Enough said. Over and above all that, if they ax the coach before they speak, what kind of candidate do they have in mind to replace him? There are so many layers to this. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade, it’s to expect the unexpected.

IS BRENDAN SHANAHAN STAYING?

At risk of reading too much into something, the fact that Pelley is joining the team president for the festivities should bode well for Shanahan’s chances of keeping his job. Since taking over as president & CEO of MLSE, Pelley has kept things very tight lipped. For better or for worse, no one knows what the man’s thinking. Without question, it would be nice to know if he has any intention of making a change at the top. In a decade under Shanahan, the Leafs have won a grand total of one playoff series. In that time, they’ve had three different head coaches and three different general managers. There’s no doubt Pelley’s been evaluating Shanahan’s body of work over the last little while.

DO THEY STILL BELIEVE IN THE CORE FOUR?

In six years with the quartet of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and John Tavares in-tact, Toronto’s won one measly playoff series. You get the theme here. In the grand scheme of things, it just isn’t working, and at this point, it would be the definition of insanity to run it back yet again. With the understanding that full no-movement clauses are in play here, it would be fascinating to hear if the braintrust still believes in the galaxy brain strategy. The numbers and track record with these players on the roster speak for themselves. In a perfect world, one way or another, it’s important for this organization to come out and state their intentions moving forward.
 

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