USA TODAY Sports: Joe Camporeale
The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to at least make a coaching change this summer, though it seems possible that typically inscrutable team president Brendan Shanahan may do more to put his stamp on the team that he took over last year (a new GM? a trade of a core piece?).
Whatever happens, TSN’s Darren Dreger expects the axe to fall in short order:
Expect Leafs personnel changes to be made swiftly. No specifics, but dragging the process out isn’t likely.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 11, 2015
Though Dreger doesn’t have specifics about the club’s plans, does their intention of acting promptly tell us anything about what’s next?
One thing to note is that NHL teams generally act quickly when they’re firing a general manager. Ex-Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis was fired before the end of the 2013-14 regular season for example, while ex-Pittsburgh Penguins executive Ray Shero was fired three days after the Penguins were eliminated.
Basically if your general manager is addressing the media on locker room cleanup day, he’s usually safe. It’s rare that I’ve seen a guy widely believed to be pleading for his job placed in front of the microphones.
Coaches often take a bit longer to replace (Dan Bylsma was fired three weeks after Shero, for example), seemingly because clubs conduct internal reviews, and wait on exit meetings and such. This happens with general managers on occasion also – the Capitals took two weeks to conduct internal reviews before firing Adam Oates and deciding not to renew George McPhee’s contract last Spring – but in my experience it’s somewhat less frequent.
If the Maple Leafs are going to make some changes quickly, that would softly suggest to me that those reviews have already been conducted and decisions have likely already been made.
We may not know the content of those decisions yet, but if Dreger’s information is accurate, we’ll hear about the fate of interim head coach Peter Horachek and general manager Dave Nonis in the very near future.