Shanahan: 'A lot of work needs to be done' with Leafs

Updated: 4/14/2014 11:48 am

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Toronto, ON ( - Brendan Shanahan was introduced as the new president of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday and said much work needs to be done for a team that missed the playoffs for the eighth time in the past nine seasons.

"Today is my first day of work and there's a lot of work to be done," said Shanahan, who was named to the new post on Friday. "Everybody realizes how difficult it is to win in the NHL."

Maple Leaf Sports chairman Tim Leiweke said Shanahan is in charge of the hockey club and will make all the decisions for the storied organization that has not won a Stanley Cup since 1967 -- the last year of the NHL's Original Six.

"I look at his track record, his accountability and his career," said Leiweke about why he chose the three-time Stanley Cup winner, Ontario native and Hockey Hall of Famer. "In 21 years he made the playoffs 18 times and he wore the 'C'. He knows the game. I like his passion, I like his work ethic. He wants to come home and do something very special for this city."

Leiweke said the process of choosing a hockey president began last June with general manager Dave Nonis contributing from the very start.

Nonis will stay on in his role and made it clear when the question was asked who was in charge.

"I have a boss. It's Brendan," said Nonis. "At the end of the day, the boss has the final say. But in any organization you have consensus. We're going to work together to find the right answers together."

The Maple Leafs reached the playoffs last spring and lost in the first round to the Boston Bruins, blowing a 3-1 series lead. This year's squad was off to a 10-4-0 start through the first month, but a run of eight straight losses to end March led to a 2-12-0 finish that left the Leafs with a mark of 38-36-8.

"Last year we took a couple of steps forward. I don't think we built upon that (this year)," admitted Nonis.

Neither Shanahan nor Nonis would comment on possible player moves or coaching changes, saying they would evaluate head coach Randy Carlyle, the staff and players in the next few weeks.

"There's a lot of good pieces (here) other teams would covet. As with any team, there will be changes," said Shanahan.

Shanahan had been serving as the NHL's disciplinarian, directing the league's department of player safety since June 1, 2011.

"I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't think I could make a positive influence," said Shanahan. "There's a unique set of challenges. It's really important that we have a strong management group, one that trusts in one another.

"We're not going to win a game sitting here today. We have to get results. Winning is a simple solution to a lot of problems."

The 45-year-old Ontario native was an eight-time All-Star during his storied playing career with the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers.

Shanahan was a member of three Stanley Cup championship teams in Detroit, scored 656 goals and finished his career with 1,354 points in 1,524 games. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

After his playing career ended, Shanahan joined the league's front office in 2009 as vice president of hockey and business development before moving into his role as chief of supplementary discipline.

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