Botterill, Bergevin, Treliving and Chiarelli among candidates for Toronto Maple Leafs general manager interview

Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan publicly admitted last Friday that his team needed to find its next general manager after leaving Kyle Dubas last week. Unsurprisingly, a week later, it appears the Leafs are working hard to assess potential candidates for the job.

According to Daily Faceoff insider Frank Seravalli, the Leafs’ list of interviewed GMs should, at a minimum, include Jason Botterill, Marc Bergevin, Brad Treliving and Peter Chiarelli.

The list of names reflects Shanahan’s assertion last week that experience would be an attractive trait for GM’s next Toronto hire.

After many successful seasons working in the Pittsburgh Penguins system and leading their AHL affiliate, Botterill served as general manager of the Buffalo Sabers from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The Sabers struggled during those years, and he was maligned by many after trading Ryan O’Reilly the summer before he won the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy and Selke Trophy, but the hindsight on this trade has changed dramatically in the years since. Tage Thompson, the key player Buffalo acquired as part of the deal, has become a superstar. Botterill has spent the past three years as assistant general manager of the Seattle Kraken expansion.

Treliving has the most recent experience, having just parted ways with the Calgary Flames after they were eliminated from the playoffs in April. In nine seasons under his leadership, the Flames have won two Pacific Division titles, but they’ve only won one playoff series — two if you count their Qualifying Round victory in the 2020 bubble. Treliving has was backed into a corner when its two superstars, Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau, wanted out last summer and were seen to have done well to replace them with Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar via trade and Nazem Kadri via agency free, but it wasn’t enough to keep Calgary in the playoff table this season.

Bergevin currently works as a senior advisor for the Los Angeles Kings. Before that, he was general manager of the Montreal Canadiens for nearly 10 seasons, building a team that reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 2020-21. Like Treliving, Bergevin brings years of experience working in a Canadian hockey market, but he would be the most polarizing hire among the candidates mentioned on Friday given his regime drafted Logan Mailloux 31st overall in 2021 despite he forfeited the draft after being convicted of a sex crime.

Chiarelli won the Stanley Cup in 2010-11 as general manager of the Boston Bruins, a position he held from 2006-07 to 2014-15. He hasn’t had as much success leading the Edmonton Oilers, leading them to a playoff berth in four seasons despite being handed No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid in his first draft as Oilers general manager. Chiarelli has worked with the St. Louis Blues for the past several seasons, first as a senior consultant and most recently as vice president of hockey operations.

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