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Brendan Shanahan has ‘complete faith’ in Dubas and Keefe

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Everything said today by players and management telegraphs running the same team out for another year.

Toronto Maple Leafs Introduce John Tavares Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Today the Maple Leafs players, Brendan Shanahan and Kyle Dubas met the media. There’s nothing very useful a hockey player can say after being ousted in what isn’t even actual playoffs. They perform hockey, they aren’t there to explain it to you, and they see the game from inside their own heads. Usually what they have to say adds up to: I’m angry/sad.

Here, you can find all the player videos posted by the Leafs. This now includes all the management conversations too.

Auston Matthews put that shoe on the other foot, and said this:

And I think that’s fine and right he feels that way. Every NHL player should never read anything said about them, never watch TSN or Sportsnet, and the first thing they should do after signing a contract is smash the radio in their car.

When management talks after getting bounced by a non-playoff team from the non-playoffs, that’s when I tune in.

It’s a classic joke because it’s true: As soon as they say your job is safe is when you get fired, but I think this is sincere. I think there will be two new assistant coaches, however.

On the overall state of the team:

All of that sounds like a prescription for running this same basic team out for another year. But then:

On the other hand:

Plus:

And yes, that was reportedly a question asked by Steve Simmons.

On the other hand (whichever hand I’m up to):

Which is a statement that caused me to utter some profanity. Look, spin it all you want, that’s your job, Kyle, but don’t try to claim you get to believe things about arithmetic. The team as constituted barely fits under the salary cap on a short roster. If you aren’t up against the cap, you must have traded someone last night.

More bad words, from me. Yes, this one is going to blow up big, because everyone (rightly) is sick to death of this, “Our secret data says the obviously not very good player with the obviously replacement-level public statistical measure is really aksually great don’t you know.” Cody Ceci was asked to do too much, largely because Tyson Barrie didn’t work out. He had some good defensive results. That’s enough said on that.

Okay, one I agree with:

Which is true of the playoffs only, of course.

These kinds of player quotes from the team account are part of the overall message that the team is going to remain the same:

And yet, they are up against the cap, and the team did perform to a poor to very poor standard defensively in the regular season. Making improvements, which everyone seems to think can come from within is going to be difficult. Nothing said today indicates they have a plan to address that other than uncover your inner better player, everyone, and prosperity is ours!

When we get the Shanahan and Dubas video or if Sheldon Keefe makes an appearance, we’ll update you.

UPDATE: the edited video list on the Maple Leafs site linked at the top of the page now includes all the interviews.

MLHS has a transcript that includes the full quote on Ceci, which reads very differently to the tweets:

When it comes to the other trades. I already gave my answer on Tyson, but the other player we brought in was Cody Ceci. It was part of a more complex trade with Nikita Zaitsev and everything that happened with him requesting a move. I know Cody is much maligned at times and he certainly doesn’t have the same level of puck skill as a lot of the others, but I think he is a player that, as we continue in hockey to track players and their contributions defensively, will be looked at much differently as those different things become much more public — not unlike they have in baseball or basketball with the defensive value of different players and their impact on the game. I was happy with Cody as well.