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They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If you take that at face value, that would lead you to the conclusion that anyone believing that the Toronto Maple Leafs should bring back the “core four” group of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander and expecting the club to succeed where they have failed the last five seasons is detached from reality.
According to TSN’s Chris Johnston, Team President Brendan Shanahan remains steadfast in his support of the $40 million quartet, and reportedly reiterated personally to Matthews, Marner, Tavares, and Nylander that he will keep them together in phone calls after the dismissal of GM Kyle Dubas last week.
This appears to be an indefensible position on the part of Shanahan, based on the inability of the Leafs to break through in the postseason over five seasons with a constantly changing supporting cast but the current leadership structure. The Hall-of-Famer has never expressed any desire to make a major roster shakeup, but the comments of Dubas in his last press conference that the club was open to anything to make them better ring hollow if they are ruling out making major changes to reconstitute their roster.
One possibility here is that Shanahan is trying to calm the waters in the wake of the departure of Dubas. Telling players that there will be major roster changes five weeks out from Matthews, Marner, and Nylander’s no-move or no-trade clauses kicking in would significantly lower their trade value if the Leafs chose to explore the trade market, and would potentially close options the new GM might want to explore.
Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli is reporting that there is an expectation that the Leafs have interviewed or will interview Brad Treliving, former Buffalo GM Jason Botterill, former Edmonton and Boston GM Peter Chiarelli, and former Montreal GM Marc Bergevin, among others.