August 10, 2021
This situation has been discussed largely in the comments of this post:
The Marlies hired Dusty Imoo to be the goalie coach, and then some of his social media likes, which revealed the content he seeks out, were publicized. They included many unpleasant things including hate speech about several marginalized groups and COVID and vaccine disinformation as well as a great deal of political content.
Notable in today’s reversal, is that the statement comes from the man at the top of the organizational chart, Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan. The Marlies are a somewhat related and also partly separate entity owned by MLSE, but ultimately Shanahan is the boss of all.
Also notable is a straight up admission that the sort of reasonable HR policies you would expect from a large company when they vet a new hire were not done in this case.
As discussed in the linked article above, Imoo had personal ties to Jack Campbell and Michael Hutchinson from past jobs on other teams.
There is a new person in charge of the Maple Leafs minor league teams — they also have an interest in, but do not own their ECHL affiliate, the Newfoundland Growlers. He is Ryan Hardy, listed as Senior Director, Minor League Operations / General Manager, Toronto Marlies. He should have been the person doing the hiring, but in an NHL/AHL environment, the choice might have been made over his head with input from the development staff or other Maple Leafs management staff.
We at this blog have joked about as well as criticized the Maple Leafs hiring practices under Kyle Dubas as becoming focused on personal friends and connections, often through his own prior employer. This situation is one very stark reminder of why that’s not always the best idea, even in hockey where it’s how it’s always been done.