The winds of change continue in the Leafs front office. Kyle Dubas got promoted, Lou Lamoriello turned his sights to the New York Islanders, and now Mark Hunter is the latest ball to drop.
The Leafs announced today that the club and Assistant General Manager Mark Hunter have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) May 22, 2018
“Following extensive discussions with Mark, he and @MapleLeafs have mutually agreed to part ways,” said Brendan Shanahan. “I’d like to sincerely thank Mark for everything he’s done for this organization over the last four years and I wish him nothing but the best in the future.”— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) May 22, 2018
Signs of this came after Elliotte Friedman’s tweet last night. Hunter wasn’t with the Leafs at the Memorial Cup fueling the flame of his departure from the organization. What he will do after, is unknown, but we know now for sure that it won’t be in Toronto.
Hunter joined the Leafs front office in 2014 as the Director of Player Personnel and was promoted a year later to Assistant General Manager along with Dubas after Red Sunday that saw the likes of Dave Nonis and Peter Horachek lose their jobs. Since then, it’s been all about adding young talent to the system.
The likes of
William Nylander, Travis Dermott, and Carl Grundstrom to name a few have been drafted in Hunter’s time here. You also can’t forget the Hunter vs. Babcock debate as to who the Leafs should've selected fourth-overall in 2015. The former won that battle, and thus Mitch Marner became a Maple Leaf.
Regardless of where he goes, Hunter’s fingerprint will be found throughout the team, especially with
Pierre Engvall and Jesper Lindgren, 2014 seventh and 2015 fourth-round pick, receiving their first NHL contracts.
With Hunter’s departure, the reigns are now completely in Dubas’ hands. It looks like we’ll have to wait for the next holiday for the next page in the Leafs handbook to be changed.
Edited because both Nylander and Engvall were drafted the year before Hunter arrived.
Expectation is that while Mark Hunter is departing TOR, because he has time remaining on his contract, one of the conditions of his departure is that he will not be permitted to work for another team until after 2018 draft and free agency period.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 22, 2018
TOR could have had Hunter run the 2018 draft but didn’t want someone who had expressed a desire to leave the organization doing it. So they agreed to part ways now, albeit with a condition on when he could begin working for another NHL team.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 22, 2018
And for a different take on things:
I had one agent tell me this is a firestorm of Brendan Shanahan’s creation. Could still have Lou as GM with Dubas and Hunter under him. Could have left things as they were, and had to know events would play out this way.— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) May 22, 2018