Leafs reportedly continuing pursuit of Sean Burke, Guy Boucher

The hiring of Mike Babcock as the next head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs is obviously the main story of the day, but it appears that it might not be the only one. According to a report from Renaud Lavoie, the Leafs are continuing to have discussions with Sean Burke of the Arizona Coyotes.

While the timing is certainly jarring, the fact that they’re still in discussions with Burke isn’t the most surprising thing in the world. He’s a very qualified candidate and Brendan Shanahan has a personal connection with him as a former teammate. Besides, it’s always best to continue communications with as many people in a hiring process if you can; not that you want to lead anybody on, but you don’t want to let an option loose before someone returns the favour to you.

Burke started his front office career in 2008 as Arizona’s (then-Phoenix) Director of Prospect Development, before also becoming the team’s goaltending coach in 2010. In 2012, Burke was promoted to Assistant General Manager while keeping the goaltending coach gig, mentoring Mike Smith and the rotating assortment of backups that have joined him.

Also in speculation today, Elliotte Friedman suggested that the Leafs are still talking to Guy Boucher regarding a coaching position. While Bob McKenzie said that prior talks were for the head position, it’s possible that Boucher could come on as an assistant if no other team is interested in having him in a leading role. Boucher also has the power to remain in Europe.

  • STAN

    With Shanahan using MLSE’s unlimited cash to single-handedly raise the salaries of all NHL coaches, people like Guy Boucher could be brought in as a number one assistant for about $1.5M.

    So if he wants to be back in the NHL making some great coin, why not?

    But if he’s looking ro run his own team, maybe the Marlies will do for a year or two… at some new AHL salary record.

    Sean Burke? Same thing. ‘Assistant GM’ or ‘Special Advisor to the President’ are only titles.

    Shanahan has already proven that he is the defacto GM, so why hand that title to someone who will be no more than a gopher, with all crucial decisions made by Shanahan?

  • Gary Empey

    Shawn Burke could take on two roles, which is what he has been doing in Arizona. The Leafs still lack a goalie coach and Burke has shown a knack for instilling/re-building confidence in goalies.