McCrimmon won’t join Leafs, returns to Wheat Kings

Kelly McCrimmon, rumored for weeks now to be mulling over an offer to join the Leafs’ front office, will turn it down. His junior club, the Brandon Wheat Kings, broke the news via their official website this afternoon.

From The Brandon Wheat Kings:

Brandon Wheat Kings’ Owner, General Manager and Head Coach Kelly McCrimmon has announced plans to return for the 2015-16 Western Hockey League season.

McCrimmon himself acknowledged the job offer from the Leafs in the media release.

“I have made the decision to remain with the Wheat Kings…I was honoured to have been considered for a position with the Maple Leafs. It would have been a tremendous opportunity…With our team expected to contend this season, I felt I owed it to the group to stay here and try to help us take the next step”

This is actually a bit of a surprise, as insiders like Dreger were leaning toward McCrimmon taking the job in Toronto. As we noted a few times before, McCrimmon has a big fan currently with the Leafs, in Mike Babcock. Babcock had made it known upon his hire that he considered McCrimmon one of the most respected hockey executives in the country, along with current Leafs director of player personnel, Mark Hunter.

I guess we’ll see now if the Leafs pursue others to fill the position they were offering McCrimmon, or if he was simply a special case they were making room for. It certainly felt like the latter.

  • Gary Empey

    I admit disappointment that he will not be joining the management group however the man is owner, GM and coach of the Wheat Kings so I understand he feels there is unfinished business with his team. If rumours were correct and he was interviewing potential coaches, then I’ll make the assumption that he didn’t find anyone he felt comfortable with. I can see him joining the Leafs at a future date once he is able to place candidates of his choice in the GM and coaching positions or selling the team.

    You have to respect a man who shows loyalty to his team, players, and the city of Brandon, while showing enough business savvy to know that no hire will ever run your business the way you do.

    Props to KMcC and wishing you success in the 2015/16 season, I am certain the door is open.

  • SEER

    I bet he wants to see a year with the new program, before he leaves a position he likes with the WK’S..

    Looking over the last many years with the Leafs and all that has gone down.. and the fact that he’s in his mid-50’s.., why would he leave a secure job, move his family.. and a good team, only to be possibly let go like many others, if the Leafs mess up again..?

    I bet he will watch this coming season very closely… (and he also might be one of the people who agrees that Dubas, Hunter, Babs & Shanny are capable of handling things without him).