McCrimmon staying in Brandon

This is a little disappointing, of course. McCrimmon is an impressive individual; long-time owner, GM and head coach of the one of the most successful small-market teams in junior hockey. With eighteen players returning to his Wheat Kings team after their WHL Finals appearance last season, McCrimmon has decided to stay on board for another run at a Mem Cup. McCrimmon has reportedly made noise about making the NHL move for several years, so perhaps the door isn’t fully shut, only closed for now.

The job pitched by the Leafs to McCrimmon involved him operating out of Brandon, Manitoba, covering off the WHL in terms of his scouting responsibilities, spending some of his time on the road with the Leafs, and having a spot at the table on all major personnel decisions. He wouldn’t have sold the Wheat Kings, but he would’ve had to hand off the GM and coaching roles.

Some wondered if the addition of McCrimmon would all but eliminate the need for an additional GM hire, with Mark Hunter possibly assuming that role once the draft passes. Does this change anything?

Draft Profiles (lots more to come this week):

Tuesday Links:

  • James Mirtle: NHL teams ready to move picks and stars as trade talks heat up (The Globe and Mail)
    The NHL’s free-agent negotiation window opens on Thursday, and with their wish list, the Sharks could be one of the busier teams. The other potential fit for them? Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. There are a lot of factors that make sense there. San Jose is one of those teams any player will waive their no-trade clause to go to. They’re in a win-now mode. The Leafs also want to get another pick higher in the draft – they own four and 24 right now – and are confident they can find very good players outside the top five or six no-brainer picks. Toronto can also take a contract to make the money work. The only question is how badly do the Sharks want an upgrade on D? Their top four is decent as-is, and Phaneuf has a lot of term left. But consider them in the mix.
  • Alex Shevchenko: Interview with Nikita Zaitsev (
    Despite all the rumors, talk, none of the NHL club has not shown such interest in me as “Toronto”. Now I went to visit and was stunned reception that I have arranged. He was in the office, the locker room looked, talked with the head coach and general manager.Believe it all for me was a pleasant shock. I drafted, I have a valid contract with the Russian club, but representatives of the Canadian team met me more than welcome.
  • Jonas Siegel: Q & A: Hunter on steering the Leafs draft (
    Siegel: Has the game changed to the point where you can look at a player like that, and you look at the Johnny Gaudreau’s and guys like that, that the skills will translate better now than they might’ve 15, 20 years ago?
    Hunter: One hundred per cent. It’s going to be better. But when you have a young man like Dylan Strome, who’s 6-3 and oozes hockey sense – he scored 130 points – he’s not the fastest skater, but his thought process is next to none in the draft.
  • Mark Easson: Rumors VI: Fisher, Maple Leafs, Blackhawks, Ducks and Panthers (MNTR)
    Darren Dreger saying that all three of Brendan Shanahan, Kyle Dubas and Mark Hunter are making trade calls. Dreger on the Red Wings no longer interested in trading for Dion Phaneuf: “I don’t know that Dion Phaneuf is 100% off the books. I’d be surprised.”
  • Steve Simmons: Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe can finally look forward (Toronto Sun)
    When he looks back at his time when he was being coached, controlled, represented by Frost, what does he think? “You could say embarrassed,” said Keefe. “Regret. It’s tough to think about that. I’m not proud of it. I don’t think about it very often anymore. I just focus on what I’m doing. “Until I went to Pembroke (to coach), I hadn’t started living my own life. I was 26. It’s when I started to feel a lot of pride in what I was doing, who I was, what was happening.”
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