Pridham, Nonis, Keefe & McMann


Suddenly, there’s a ton of drama unfolding with the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’m unsure what number of Maple Leafs’ followers are watching the present NHL convention finals given their staff’s personal turmoil. The discussions will likely be scorching and heavy, and the information would possibly begin to come so quick and livid that followers would possibly anticipate a Vin Diesel sighting on Yonge Street.

Latest News & Highlights

In this version of Maple Leafs’ News & Rumors, I’ll take a while to share some details about the information that has lately come from the staff. Just to maintain issues sane, I’ll additionally fortunately report that Bobby McMann is healed from harm and able to play once more. Sadly, the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Toronto Marlies had been eradicated from their very own postseason.

Item One: Brandon Pridham Will Be Running the Show

After the considerably stunning departure of Maple Leafs’ normal supervisor Kyle Dubas from the staff, his assistant normal supervisor Brandon Pridham will now serve as acting as the overall supervisor of the Maple Leafs on an interim foundation. You’d must assume that Brendan Shanahan will likely be looking exhausting for Dubas’ alternative.

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Shanahan talked about throughout a press convention that he can be counting on Pridham throughout this transition interval. Pridham has been with the group since 2014 and has labored his means as much as assistant normal supervisor. What he’s finest recognized for is his work with ensuring that the staff has been salary-cap compliant. That must be a full-time job in itself. The phrase is that he’s turn out to be a little bit of a guru in that space.

Right now it isn’t clear a lot management Pridham can have with the staff’s upcoming contract no-move clauses rushing down the observe straight on the staff. All three of Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Auston Matthews acquire an important deal extra energy over their upcoming free company if the staff doesn’t settle these points earlier than Canada Day (July 1). 

Because Pridham hasn’t been given the official title of interim normal supervisor, it could appear that Shanahan will assume important affect over the decision-making. 

Item Two: Dave Nonis Weighs In on the Maple Leafs’ Pressure

Former normal supervisor of the Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks Dave Nonis (who’s rumoured to be within the remaining group for normal supervisor of the Calgary Flames with Pridham) weighed in on the pressure and attention on Canadian hockey groups, particularly the Maple Leafs, yesterday. In a phrase, it may be intense, he famous. 

After the Maple Leafs introduced they might not be renewing Dubas’ contract as normal supervisor yesterday, Nonis famous how difficult the highlight could be for gamers and employees. He additionally believed that would have been a consider Dubas’ determination to not decide to Toronto. 

Related: Maple Leafs Risk Losing Matthews if They Let Dubas Depart

Nonis additionally emphasised the danger and the problem of the job for the incoming normal supervisor will face. In a short while, that particular person must make essential selections relating to the staff’s make-up, particularly partaking in discussions that weigh the opportunity of buying and selling key gamers. 

Kyle Dubas former Toronto Maple Leafs GM (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Nonis highlighted the significance of creating the appropriate strikes within the subsequent month or two, contemplating the impression these strikes can have on the franchise for years to return. The expertise put collectively on this roster is clear, and the brand new normal supervisor will instantly have tons of stress. You can wager that any huge strikes will make a part of the staff’s fanbase leap with pleasure and can infuriate one other half.

Item Three: Whether Sheldon Keefe Stays or Goes, He Was One of Dubas’ Best Moves

The jury stays out on whether or not coach Sheldon Keefe will keep or go earlier than the 2023-24 season. While a whole lot of Maple Leafs’ followers don’t imagine that Keefe is the appropriate head coach for the staff, I imagine that hiring him as the pinnacle coach was one among Dubas’ finest strikes. 

Related: Maple Leafs’ 5 Best Canadian-Born Players of All-Time

After Dubas fired Mike Babcock in Nov. 2019, he made Keefe the staff’s new head coach. Under Keefe’s teaching, the staff has loved success within the common season, with a formidable file and a excessive profitable proportion each single season. The staff achieved its two finest seasons in franchise historical past by way of factors throughout Keefe’s management. However, as followers know too nicely, the staff’s postseason efficiency has been bleak, with a 13-17 file and just one playoff sequence win.

Sheldon Keefe and Kyle Dubas Toronto Maple Leafs
Sheldon Keefe and Kyle Dubas (The Hockey Writers)

With Dubas not serving as the overall supervisor, the longer term for Keefe has turn out to be unsure. He’s below contract for yet one more season, however his place is unclear, particularly after the Maple Leafs’ disappointing exit from the playoffs by the hands of the Florida Panthers. 

The entrance workplace adjustments add a further layer of thriller and guesswork about Keefe’s future with the staff. That could possibly be a key query for the brand new normal supervisor: “What would he do with Sheldon Keefe?”

Item Four: Bobby McMann Is Ready for Action

In a word that isn’t so dramatic, Bobby McMann has been activated from long-term injured reserve and was reassigned to the Toronto Marlies. He had been coping with a knee harm. Prior to his harm, McMann performed 10 video games for the Maple Leafs in the course of the previous common season, recording one help, 18 photographs on aim, and 17 hits. 

Related: Assessing Keefe’s Tenure as Maple Leafs’ Head Coach

Sadly, he healed and rehabbed just a bit late. His time with the Marlies was quick. They fell to the Rochester Americans within the North Division Final after shedding three video games in a row in that second-round sequence. 

What’s Next?

The Maple Leafs’ entrance workplace is dealing with challenges. With the resignation of Jason Spezza, Dubas’ elbow accomplice this previous season, you would possibly get a way of how loyal the previous normal supervisor’s staff (round him) is. You’d must assume that Pridham and Keefe are additionally in a little bit of a psychological squeeze as nicely. 

On each a human and a enterprise degree, having been in management positions earlier than, if I had been Dubas, I might have talked with every of those males yesterday to encourage them. I might have allow them to know that they had my (his) assist in no matter they did or decisions they made.

The phrase from the Marlies was that their complete teaching employees had been tanked by Ryan Hardy, who was the Marlies’ normal supervisor. I’m stunned that Hardy has not been talked about in my studying for the Maple Leafs’ job. But, I’m placing him on followers’ watchlist.


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