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NHL Notebook: Toronto Maple Leafs hire Shane Doan as assistant general manager, why the Detroit Red Wings could land Alex DeBrincat, and is Carter Hart worth trading for?

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Photo credit:Patrick Breen/The Republic
Zach Laing
10 months ago
Brad Treliving has reportedly made his first hire since taking over as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
According to hockey insider Kevin Weekes, the club is hiring former Arizona Coyotes staffer Shane Doan to work under Treliving as an assistant general manager.
Doan has spent the last two years as the Coyotes’ chief hockey development officer and played with the team since when the Winnipeg Jets moved there in 1996 through 2017, when he retired from playing.
Here’s some of what Daily Faceoff’s Anthony Trudeau wrote about the hiring:
Doan, who gained experience as an executive with Canada during their successful World Championship bid, replaces fellow NHL legend Jason Spezza as assistant GM.
Spezza walked out on Toronto in the wake of the team’s sudden dismissal of Kyle Dubas, who joined the Pittsburgh Penguins as president of hockey operations on June 1.
Brad Treliving, who left the Calgary Flames after his contract at the end of the season, was quickly named Dubas’s replacement in Toronto. Before he served as Flames’ GM, Treliving was Coyotes’ assistant GM for most of Doan’s playing career.
The power forward’s lengthy previous association with Treliving no doubt impacted his decision to, at last, leave an Arizona franchise he has served for a quarter century.
Treliving and Doan will have their work cut out for them this offseason, with stars Auston Matthews and William Nylander in line for extensions after a feeble second-round exit at the hands of the Eastern Conference Champion Florida Panthers.
The duo must decide whether the “Core Four” can ever drive a Cup contender or if it is time to begin anew in Toronto.

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DeBrincat to Detroit?

The Ottawa Senators are more likely than not looking to move on from Alex DeBrincat just one year after acquiring him.
According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, that’s due to his unwillingness to sign a long-term deal in Canada. His agent, Jeff Jackson, told the Senators last week DeBrincat “isn’t prepared to discuss a long-term contract extension with the club” despite having a year left on his deal.
The most prudent course of action for Ottawa now might be to trade the winger and maximize the value after he scored 27 goals and 66 points in 82 games last year.
On Thursday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live, Tyler Yaremchuk and Mike McKenna broke down why the Detroit Red Wings — his home state team — could make sense as a landing spot:
Yaremchuk: Another big rumour that we’ve heard this week centers around Alex DeBrincat and the Ottawa Senators heading into a summer where he’s a restricted free agent. There is talk that after just one year in Ottawa, he won’t be signing long-term there, so the Senators are potentially going to be forced to move him this summer. Tough hand to be dealt if you’re the GM of the Senators, which, again, that position might be changing in a bit, so it’s hard to read what they’re going to do this summer. Focusing in on DeBrincat, which GMs around the league should be making a call to Pierre Dorion to try to make a move for this guy?
McKenna: Yeah, I’ve got a couple of them, and by the way, this is a classic case of — you’d better have an extension in place when you go for a person like this on the market. You can’t just roll the dice hoping you’re going to keep him around, you’d better make sure. I’ll tell you what, the Carolina Hurricanes need a sniper. I think he’d be a good fit there. I think Rod Brind’Amour would help DeBrincat’s game. The Minnesota Wild, same boat. They need some additional scoring. Cap issues might be a little bit tough there, but — I’ve got my eye on one team, it’s in his hometown state: the Detroit Red Wings. DeBrincat’s due a qualifying offer of $9 million, he’s currently at $6.4 million for a cap hit.
The only thing that’s really in question: Is he a 30- or 40-goal scorer? He’s waffled a bit here. You’re not quite sure. I don’t think he’s quite worth $9 million a year, but when you look at the Red Wings and what they could possibly put together in assets to get him — they have two first-round picks this year, 2023, they have two first-round picks in 2024. And look at the second-round picks that are loaded up, three of them in this year’s draft, as well. Larkin is the only big-ticket player on the docket right now for the Detroit Red Wings. He’s going to be joined by Mo Seider in a year, but they’ve got over $30 million worth of projected cap space sitting there. I think they could afford DeBrincat, I think he’d fit. They need a boost in offence.

Is Carter Hart worth it?

Rumours have cropped up that the Philadelphia Flyers could look to trade goaltender after signalling a rebuild is impeding through their trade of Ivan Provorov.
On Wednesday’s edition of Oilersnation Everyday, Frank Seravalli had poured cold water on the Oilers making a move for Hart, or any goaltender at all, saying “I do not have any sense or indication that the (Edmonton) Oilers are in on the goalie market at all. I think they are contractually stuck with what they have in Jack Campbell and to a lesser extent Stuart Skinner.”
He went on to add that he does believe Hart is available, but it is a significant price the Flyers are asking for.
On Thursday, former NHL goaltender Mike McKenna opined in a Daily Faceoff article about what a team could be getting in Hart:
Is Hart the goaltending phenom who burst onto the NHL scene with the Philadelphia Flyers midway the 2018-19 season? Or just another mid-pack goaltender that will always leave fans wanting more?
Stop and think for a second: if the Flyers had been any good defensively the past few seasons, would these questions even need to be asked? I doubt it. Because Hart has all the talent in the world. He just needs a decent, responsible team in front of him.
I think Hart has done a tremendous job of rebounding since that disastrous, COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign.
I have no doubt he looked inward on how he could improve his own processes. Hart’s .906 save percentage over the past two seasons may not be eye-catching. But keep in mind the team in front of him was a disjointed mess. The fact that the Flyers blew through three head coaches in that same time span says it all.
Things started to get back on track for Hart during the 2021-22 season. His performance was up and down, no doubt, but Hart finished 29th in moneypuck.com’s goals saved above expected rankings among goalies that played 30 or more games.
And that’s when I started to see a turn. Hart looked like he was having more fun. Maybe even a little carefree. And when the Flyers brought in head coach John Tortorella for the 2022-23 season, I expected Hart to get right back into the upper echelon of NHL netminders.
If Hart gets traded, the team receiving him won’t be doing it for a one-year rental. It would be for his services well into the future. And I think there are a handful of franchises that would benefit.
Los Angeles. Pittsburgh. Edmonton. Carolina. To name a few. All would make plenty of sense as landing spots for Hart. And I think he would do well in any of those cities.
Why am I certain? Because Hart is one of the most technically proficient goaltenders in hockey. With a solid team around him that minimizes cross-ice passes and rushes against, Hart’s skating would get him square to almost every shot faced. And when he arrives early, he’s successful.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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