Brendan Shanahan appears to be preparing for a move from the NHL office to what many consider the biggest hockey market in the league.
The Hall of Famer reportedly is finalizing arrangements to accept the position of team president with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Shanahan will resign as NHL disciplinarian on Friday, sources told The Toronto Sun, and a news conference to officially welcome him to the Leafs is expected to be held next week.
It's believed one-time NHL defencemen Stephane Quintal and Brian Leetch will head up NHL player safety for the balance of the season.
Tim Leiweke, chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, has made major moves with MLSE’s basketball and soccer teams, but this would represent his biggest mark on the hockey club since he arrived in Toronto in April 2013.
Leiweke is said to prefer having a bridge between himself and Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis.
Shanahan, who ended his 22-year playing career on Nov. 17, 2009, joined the NHL that December as its vice-president of hockey operations but apparently hasn’t been shy in letting people know that working in the NHL office isn’t his long-term career plan.
When the 45-year-old Shanahan first joined the NHL office, he worked with Colin Campbell, the league’s senior executive VP of hockey operations, by providing insights from a player’s standpoint into trends that have emerged in the game.
A native of Mimico, Ont., just outside Toronto, Shanahan finished his NHL career with 656 goals and 1,354 points, good for 23rd on the all-time list, and was an eight-time all-star.
In June 2011, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Shanahan would succeed Campbell as the league’s chief disciplinarian while also heading up a new, expanded department aimed at enhancing player safety.
Shanahan began the use of videos to explain why players were or weren't suspended for dangerous or illegal plays.
The videos posted to the NHL's website have been used as an aid for players, fans and officials as the league tries to limit the number of concussions in professional hockey.
Since the start of the 2011-12 NHL season, Shanahan, a three-time Stanley Cup champion, has been in charge of issuing fines and suspensions under the title of senior vice president of player safety and hockey operations.
The former gritty left-winger has no real management experience in the NHL.