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Brendan Shanahan on Maple Leafs' purge: '(Sunday) was just the beginning'

Mark Blinch / REUTERS

Forget Dion, Phil and James.

The Toronto Maple Leafs' core is now Brendan Shanahan, Kyle Dubas and Mark Hunter.

On Monday, the president answered for his triggering of the organization's mass exodus, telling reporters his tight-knit staff needed to be decisive and take action to atone for the team's failings this season. 

He spoke candidly, confirming a full-blown rebuild is the necessary recourse and stressed the importance of finding personnel that shares "our vision" - speaking of his, Dubas's and Hunter's. 

And it seems those who don't, are next out the door.

"There are no shortcuts. Shortcuts have gotten this organization into trouble in the past. This has to be a build we're committed to."

"The challenge in Toronto is not coming up with a plan. The challenge in Toronto is sticking to it," he added.

Shanahan told reporters that Hunter will be in charge of player personnel until a general manager is appointed and he's uninterested in taking on the role himself. 

He also confirmed that sweeping changes will touch the roster as well, calling on a need for players with "greater character." 

"Yesterday was just the beginning," he said.

Without singling out any current roster players at fault, Shanahan expressed the desire for having players enjoy being a Maple Leaf, even if the record stays relatively the same through the process.

"You have to have enthusiasm to be a Leaf - even when times are tough. And that's why fans were probably so upset this year." 

There is one thing, though, that would change their destructive plans. And that requires the ping pong balls landing on the Maple Leafs logo Saturday. 

"It would certainly speed things up," he said with a massive grin. 

Additional Notes

  • Shanahan wants to have a general manager in place before the draft, but won't set a deadline
  • He did not rule hiring a coach before a general manager, or the coach having any additional responsibilities in terms of player personnel
  • He said the rebuild will take "as long as it takes"

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