Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

Now What Toronto?

(5/16/2022)

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, This is eight seasons for Shanahan on the job, with his hand-picked general manager Kyle Dubas and the GM’s hand-picked coach Sheldon Keefe. In sports, that’s a lifetime on the job. In those eight seasons, six of them in the playoffs, one of them bottoming out which brought them, Auston Matthews, they are one of just five teams in the NHL to not have won a playoff series in that time. Toronto. New Jersey, Detroit. Los Angeles. Seattle. This is the company the Leafs now find themselves among. New Jersey won a bunch of Stanley Cups years ago. The Red Wings had an amazing run of championships and near championships. The Kings won two just before Shanahan was hired. As also-ran go, the Leafs are in their own territory.... A team with an owner would be firing somebody this week because that’s what owners tend to do. They act emotionally. They hear fans. They don’t always do the right thing. And sometimes an owner says to his president, you have to fire your general manager, and the president says no. And the owner counters with, okay, then I’m firing you. And maybe the owner is firing the GM. And maybe that means the coach is going too. The difficulty in all this is that Shanahan has positioned the Leafs to succeed, except when it matters most. Dubas has done some fine work, only the teams he has built haven’t won a thing. Keefe has an amazing regular-season record as coach, but a .421 record in the post-season. more