Rival execs think Leafs front office could undergo a few changes this year: report
While much fanfare has been made about the fate of Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe, they’re not the only team employees worth keeping an eye on this offseason.
According to a recent survey of NHL staff members from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, three members of the Leafs’ front office and coaching staff have been tabbed (out of a total of 38 league-wide) to potentially find themselves in new roles as soon as next year.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing for an NHL front office to be producing talent wanted by other teams, but it could mean Toronto itself might be in the market to either offer some internal promotions or make some new external hires.
“ESPN polled 24 people in and around the NHL — agents, front-office executives, league officials — and asked two questions. Who is up next? And who should we be keeping an eye on?” Kaplan wrote.
Three Leafs candidates made the list: Spencer Carbery, Laurence Gilman, and Ryan Hardy.
Here’s a primer on each.
Spencer Carbery, Leafs assistant coach
Start date with Leafs: July 17, 2021
A former ECHL winger from Victoria, BC, Spencer Carbery has found his way up through the ECHL and AHL coaching ranks before the Leafs hired him prior to last season. Now in his second season with the team, Carbery was tabbed as a possible future NHL head coach.
“The 41-year-old is one of the buzziest names on the coaching circuit — and that’s even before he landed in Toronto, centre of the hockey media universe. A few respondents said to monitor Carbery as an option for the Capitals should they make a change,” Kaplan wrote.
Laurence Gilman, Senior Vice-President and Governor, Toronto Marlies
Start date with Leafs: May 24, 2018
A former member of the Vancouver Canucks front office from 2008 to 2015, Gilmam previously also spent a few years working for the NHL while writing working on the expansion project and rulebook for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Gilman has been “described as ‘well-connected,’ which tends to go a long way in NHL hiring practices,” Kaplan wrote. “He has a ton of experience as a capologist and negotiator. Gilman was in the mix for the Vancouver GM job last year.”
Ryan Hardy, Assistant General Manager, Leafs
Start date with Leafs: June 25, 2021
Hardy’s official title is Assistant General Manager, Minor League Operations, where he essentially runs the AHL’s Marlies alongside Gilman as well as the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers. Of note, Hardy’s job is the same role that Kyle Dubas had with the Leafs organization before he was named the team’s GM back in 2018.
“The 36-year-old Hardy, who got his start as a Bruins scout, was on our list last year after three years running the Chicago Steel of the USHL,” Kaplan added. “As one respondent said in 2022: “He’s got his s*** together. He’s a great recruiter, well-organized, and runs a great organization. Running a USHL team is a tough gig.”