Maple Leafs hire Lindsay Hofford

lindsay-hoffordThe Leafs officially added former London Knights director of scouting Lindsay Hofford to their amateur scouting department yesterday. Hofford will be one of Mark Hunter’s guys and also has a connection to player development consultant Darryl Belfry through the Pro Hockey Development Group.

Hofford’s history with 2015 draft prospect Mitchell Marner is long – Hofford had him on his team at the Hill Academy in Vaughan, with the Don Mills Flyers, and in London on the Knights — and will no doubt add more fuel to the fire that Marner is going to be the Leafs‘ pick at number four. It’s hard to picture a draft team that includes Hunter and Hofford not holding preference for Marner, but their foremost interest at the end of the day is to be objective in taking the best player available.

While experience will be a popular concern with this current management regime, one thing everyone should be able to agree on is that the Leafs couldn’t have a front office better prepared for the 2015 Draft, at least in terms of its knowledge of and familiarity with the draft class’ Ontario Hockey League prospects.

  • Anthony Petrielli: What would the Leafs be getting in Mike Babcock? (MLHS)
    The question for the Leafs is really what they are trying to do. If they want to tank and continue to collect high draft picks, this isn’t the guy to do it with. If they want to get better this summer and start making moves to get competitive, Babcock would be a great hire. There is no in between here.
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  • Elliotte Friedman: 30 Thoughts — The Last Days of Babwatch (Sportsnet.ca)
    McPhee is in the Toronto picture, as is Tampa assistant GM Julien BriseBois, although that is extremely unlikely. BriseBois declined comment with the Lightning still playing, but a couple of sources indicate he has made it clear he will not be leaving right now. He’s got a good situation there and apparently wants to remain for at least one more playoff run.
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  • Scott Wheeler: Lindsay Hofford joins Leafs front office (Pension Plan Puppets)
    Hofford insisted size wasn’t an issue for the diminutive forward (Marner) though. “The guy’s an impact, elite player,” he said. “He’s been at every level able to surpass any limits that are set on him because of his size and whatnot so he’s obviously got a bright future.”
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  • Jonas Siegel: Leafs offseason to-do list just keeps growing (TSN.ca)
    The organization is also going about its search in an unconventional manner at the urging of Shanahan, content to hire coach before general manager if need be. There’s also the prospect of the front office (save the general manager) already in place and the looming voice of Shanahan above whatever power said general manager will hold.
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  • Jonas Siegel: Gord Dineen contemplating situation after getting told he won’t return as Marlies head coach (Twitter)