NHL

Your! Call: Should former stars be hired to run hockey ops?

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TSN.ca Staff
4/10/2014 1:50:10 PM
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With the news of MLSE reaching out to Brendan Shanahan for a front office job with the Leafs coming on the heels of Trevor Linden's hiring in Vancouver, there appears a clear trend of teams hiring former stars – and preferably alumni – to run their hockey operations.

Joe Sakic is running things in Colorado; Steve Yzerman is in charge in Tampa Bay; and Ron Francis, currently the No. 2 in Carolina, is widely expected to one day take over the Hurricanes' hockey ops.

There are several success stories with this business model, the benchmark perhaps set by former Bruins great Cam Neely who has been President and Alternate Governor of the team since 2010.

But it doesn't always work, as some Edmonton Oilers fans would surely argue. Pat Lafontaine's short-lived period as Buffalo Sabres' President of Hockey Operations serves as a cautionary tale as well.

The move can make sense from a business standpoint. A flashy hire of a former fan favourite can do a lot to curb poor season ticket sales – a rumoured consideration in the Canucks' hiring of Linden – although that won't factor into any Leafs' decisions.

Toronto went down this path before, hiring former Montreal Canadiens great Ken Dryden as President in 1997. He lasted seven years with the Leafs, overseeing some of the most successful Leafs teams in recent memory.

Will a similar hire lead to comparable results, or - Leafs fans hope - even better ones?

Is hiring a former star player to run hockey operations a good move for a team? You've heard what we've had to say, now it's your turn.

As always, it's Your! Call.

Brendan Shanahan (Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
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