Shanahan: Leafs could have GM by start of season

Some of hockey's prominent names gathered in Toronto for the second annual 'Night for Change' fundraiser in an evening to end homophobic bullying. Arash Madani caught up with Brendan Shanahan as the Maple Leafs president prepares for the NHL Draft.

There is no specific timetable or deadline for the Toronto Maple Leafs to name a full-time general manager, but team president Brendan Shanahan says there’s a chance the Leafs will have one in place by the start of the 2015-16 season.

“It’s possible,” Shanahan told Sportsnet’s Arash Madani Monday at the Night For Change event in Toronto. “Right now we’re focusing on getting ready for the draft. It’s a possibility [but] I’m comfortable with the group right now [and] how they’ve been working together. I’ve actually been very pleased with how the group has been working together and the relationships that are being established with some other teams throughout the league.

“It would be my preference [to have a full-time GM in place] but if we have to go in a different direction we will.”

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Heading into the 2015 NHL Draft – which takes place June 26 – it appears as though director of player personnel and co-interim GM Mark Hunter will spearhead the Leafs’ decision making process alongside fellow co-interim GM Kyle Dubas, Shanahan and other members of the team’s scouting staff.

“Mark is the most experienced guy at this and has seen these guys the most. Mark’s always looking for our input but at the end of the day we brought Mark here for a reason. We trust him. He collaborates, he talks, he asks us questions, he goes back and forth, but we brought Mark here for a reason and we trust him.”

Shanahan added that “teams are calling us about all players” and not just captain Dion Phanuef and sniper Phil Kessel, both of whom have been involved in trade rumours for months.

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