Tuesday morning, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that assistant general manager Mark Hunter and the club have parted ways. Hunter’s move was announced by team president Brendan Shanahan after “extensive discussions.”
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) May 22, 2018
Mark Hunter Leaves Maple Leafs
Hunter and Kyle Dubas were the team’s assistant general managers since 2014. The two worked under general manager Lou Lamoriello. Both assistant general managers emerged as candidates to replace Lamoriello. However, Dubas came away with the job.
Hunter came to Toronto after years in junior hockey. The 55-year-old was most notably the owner, vice president and general manager of the London Knights for 12 seasons. He also has experience in coaching and player development. There was speculation that he’d go back to the Knights.
His primary duties were player development, drafting and player evaluation. Hunter drafted players like Mitch Marner, Travis Dermott, Auston Matthews, Timothy Liljegren. He also signed undrafted European free agents like Andreas Borgman and Nikita Zaitsev.
Hunter does have one year left on his contract and TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that Hunter will not be permitted to work for another team until after the draft and the free agency are over.
What This Means for the Team’s Future
Hunter will be a sought-after candidate when becomes eligible for a job. Early talk is speculating Hunter may join Lamoriello with the New York Islanders. However, he’ll likely get offers from plenty of teams.
His experience in player development and drafting makes him a valuable commodity. Hunter made the Knights a contender in the OHL and helped shape the Maple Leafs.
The move also means that Dubas will get to make his own management team. It will be a busy summer in Toronto as they try to fill executive positions.
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