The Toronto Maple Leafs recent resurgence coincided with the hiring of Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan in 2014. The club has returned to being one of the NHL’s signature franchises under his direction over the last five years and because of that, their Team President has been signed to a six-year contract extension through to the 2024-25 season.
“We are very pleased to see Brendan continue in his role as President of the Toronto Maple Leafs,” MLSE Chairman Larry Tanenbaum said in a press release. “Brendan’s positive impact on this team has not only been felt on the ice, where the team is on an impressive path, but throughout the league, with the Leafs alumni, and in the community. We look forward to continued success for the Maple Leafs under Brendan’s leadership over the next six years.”
The Leafs are entering a critical crossroads in their development under Shanahan, GM Kyle Dubas and head coach Mike Babcock, with three consecutive first-round exits, John Tavares, William Nylander, and Auston Matthews signed to long-term contracts, and Mitch Marner, Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson looking for new deals.
“When MLSE approached me several months ago to discuss an extension, I told them this would be quite simple as I’ve had no desire to leave what we’ve started here with the Maple Leafs,” Shanahan said. “I’m thankful to the Board of Directors, our coaches, trainers, management and office staff, and especially our players for the professionalism and dedication they display every day.”
Although there were no indications that Shanahan had any designs on leaving Toronto, the Leafs may have wanted to get the Mimico, ON native locked up with the New York Rangers looking for a new Team President to replace the retiring Glen Sather.
Priority one for Dubas and the Leafs is getting Marner’s deal done and Shanahan indicated on Tuesday that talks with the restricted free agent’s representation are ongoing.
“Obviously, our admiration for Mitch and how he plays the game and how he evolved this year and how he developed, rounded out his game and added, not even just his offensive creativity and prowess but penalty killing and just his overall game has improved so much, so it was a positive meeting (with agent Darren Ferris).” Shanahan said to the FAN 590's Prime Time Sports on Tuesday. “Beyond that, you’re not going to hear anything from Kyle and I or Mitch’s camp. … There’s no point in playing this out through the press.”
It is likely that the Leafs are looking to sign the 21-year-old winger to a deal equal in length or longer than Matthews five-year contract, but the salary for Marner’s new deal could be in the range of Tavares ($11 Million AAV) or Matthews ($11.634 Million), which would have their top three players taking up nearly 40% of the club’s salary cap.
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