It’s not a stretch to believe that the Edmonton Oilers and/or the Toronto Maple Leafs could advance to the Stanley Cup final in the next two to three seasons.
Many would agree, but the reasons for such lofty expectations are up for debate. To me, owners have put presidents in charge that come from a different culture: A hockey culture.
A winning culture.
In Toronto, GM Lou Lamoriello and coach Mike Babcock both report to president Brendan Shanahan, who is a three-time Stanley Cup winner and an Olympic gold medalist.
In Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli and coach Todd McLellan answer to Bob Nicholson, who gave all of Hockey Canada’s teams a chance to win gold medals in his time there.
GMs in Toronto and Edmonton report to decorated hockey people, not marketing geniuses.
It’s made a world of difference, and may make for a trip to a championship for one or both of these teams in the very near future.