Jeff Gorton on the Leafs’ radar for GM job

It’s becoming quite clear that Jeff Gorton will be an NHL general manager next season, we just don’t know where. In an offseason that should see plenty of front office movement throughout the league, he’s one guy who seems to be among the most sought-after, and for good reason. 

The Rangers have been playoff regulars for a while now, contenders more recently, and Gorton is a big reason why, assisting 71-year-old president and GM Glen Sather with building this club and by many accounts doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Teams are already knocking at the door, Sather just isn’t letting them in yet. 

It’s been in the hockey headlines over the last week that the Boston Bruins are pursuing Gorton, but they haven’t been able to talk to him. Apparently Sather isn’t going to let that happen until his Rangers are knocked out of the playoffs, and the list of teams waiting for that to go down may be growing.

Gorton seems like a great target for the Leafs, and if they’re looking to talk with him they obviously have an idea of how he might fit in the organization, but the Bruins have a history here, going all the way back to 1992.

After working fifteen years with the Bruins organization, Gorton actually served as interim general manager before they officially landed Chiarelli in 2006, and he had a part to play in the Raycroft trade and Chara signing – arguably the two best moves to happen for the Bruins in the last decade. The following season he was let go and has been working with the Rangers ever since. 

It’s not hard to picture the Leafs and Bruins getting into some sort of bidding war for Gorton’s services if they truly believe he’s their guy upon gaining access to him. But then again, the Rangers should probably just avoid letting any of this happen and let him sit in the GM chair now.  

“I haven’t given permission to anybody to speak to anyone and I won’t as long as we’re playing,” Sather told the Post ahead of Game 3 of the Rangers-Capitals Eastern Conference semifinal series Monday night. “And there’s a question whether I would, anyway, after it’s over.” – source (NYPost)

This is certainly something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks, as there are clearly some big decisions to be made for all teams involved.

As Thom mentioned last night, the Leafs have also been linked to Guy Boucher as a coaching candidate. You have to wonder how the current front office is planning on having this all shake out – whether they want their new manager inheriting a coach or being able to make their own choice. Right now our best guess would be that Shanahan is simply getting as many irons in the fire as possible. 

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