The Hall of Famer reportedly is finalizing arrangements to accept an executive position with the Toronto Maple Leafs, perhaps as president of hockey operations.
Tim Leiweke, chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, has made major moves with MLSE’s basketball and soccer teams, but this would represent his biggest mark on the hockey club since he arrived in Toronto in April 2013.
It’s believed Leiweke prefers to have a bridge between himself and Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis.
Shanahan, who ended his 22-year playing career on Nov. 17, 2009, joined the NHL that December as its vice-president of hockey operations but apparently hasn’t been shy in letting people know that working in the NHL office isn’t his long-term career plan.
When the 45-year-old Shanahan first joined the NHL office, he worked with Colin Campbell, the league’s senior executive VP of hockey operations, by providing insights from a player’s standpoint into trends that have emerged in the game.
A native of Mimico, Ont., just outside Toronto, Shanahan finished his NHL career with 656 goals and 1,354 points, good for 23rd on the all-time list, and was an eight-time all-star.
In June 2011, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Shanahan would succeed Campbell as the league’s chief disciplinarian while also heading up a new, expanded department aimed at enhancing player safety.
Since the start of the 2011-12 NHL season, the three-time Stanley Cup champion has been in charge of issuing fines and suspensions under the title of senior vice president of player safety and hockey operations.
The former gritty left-winger has no real management experience in the NHL.