Leafs announce players, coach will speak Monday & management Thursday, but don’t specify who

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
1 month ago
The all-too-familiar tradition of the Leafs cleaning out their lockers will commence tomorrow but with an added twist of intrigue.
This will take place less than 48 hours after the Leafs yet again lost a Game 7 to the Bruins in Boston, with this loss carrying massive implications about the future of this team giving the rumblings of changes forthcoming in the event the team wasn’t able to overcome the 3-1 series deficit. That did not come to fruition so now the players and coaching staff will have to find answers about why they yet again could not overcome this hurdle.
The short turnaround between the season ending and the locker room cleanout pressers is not surprising, but the second note in Chris Johnston’s post certainly raises some eyebrows. That is especially the case when he later added that the Leafs did not specify which member(s) of management would be speaking with the media on Thursday, which doesn’t rule out the possibility of newly appointed MLSE CEO Keith Pelley taking to the podium and fielding questions.
The way Sheldon Keefe spoke about the Leafs in the third person when asked about why they constantly lose these high-stakes games leaves plenty of doubt about his long-term future with the organization. The same applies to Brendan Shanahan, who could very well be out of a job given that he has been at the helm for over a decade and has only one series win to show for his efforts. Players can’t be fired, but they certainly can be traded and Saturday’s loss opens the possibility of a major shakeup to the lineup in the weeks ahead.
All of which is to say that nothing is off the table when it comes to what could be forthcoming for the Leafs. They had a chance to exorcise their demons and have the franchise be rewarded for their continued faith in the core four, but that once again never materialized and it paves the way for significant alterations to the foundation of the team.
The fact that the Leafs are changing the availability of management to the media speaks volumes of how high tensions probably are behind closed doors. Brace yourselves, the fireworks are about to go off on the team as we know them.

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