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Maple Leafs counting on Shanahan

AFP-JIJI

The Toronto Maple Leafs introduced Brendan Shanahan as the new team president Monday, saying the three-time Stanley Cup winner has what it takes to turn the club around.

“I look at his track record, his accountability and his career,” said chairman Tim Leiweke. “In 21 years he made the playoffs 18 times. He knows the game. I like his passion, I like his work ethic. He wants to come home and do something very special for this city.”

Shanahan, who was named to the position on Friday, takes over one of the NHL’s original six franchises. Leiweke said Shanahan would be in charge of all decisions for the Leafs, who have missed the playoffs eight of the past nine seasons and have not won a Stanley Cup since 1967.

The 45-year-old Shanahan will be working closely with general manager Dave Nonis. Toronto reached the playoffs last season and lost in the first round to the Boston Bruins, blowing a 3-1 series lead.

This year’s team started quickly getting off to a 10-4-0 start through the first month, but a run of eight straight losses to end March led to a 2-12-0 finish that left the Leafs with a record of 38-36-8.