Claude Loiselle is expected to be named the vice president of the Department of Player Safety for the NHL, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post. Loiselle, who was recently dismissed from his role as assistant general manager with the Toronto Maple Leafs, will take over from Brendan Shanahan, who left the league office to join Toronto as the team president.
The NHL has been seeking Shanahan's replacement since he left for the Maple Leafs front office in April. Stephane Quintal, the department's safety manager, took over the position on an interim basis with oversight from deputy commissioner Bill Daly for the remainder of the season last year.
Loiselle will come to the department with 15 years of NHL experience as a player, having spent time with the Detroit Red Wings, Quebec Nordiques, New Jersey Devils, Maple Leafs and New York Islanders.
Before joining the Maple Leafs front office in 2010, Loiselle spent seven years with the NHL as the associate director of hockey operations. Before that he worked in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.
That level of experience lends itself well to understanding what's allowable under the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and affords Loiselle a lot of established relationships with league executives.
Loiselle has been out of work for just under two weeks after he and Maple Leafs director of player personnel Dave Poulin were let go by the organization. Kyle Dubas, former general manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds was hired as Toronto's new assistant general manager on July 22.
The longtime executive now reportedly inherits one of the toughest jobs in the NHL, one in which it is impossible to please everybody. Perhaps his experience working under the microscope in Toronto was seen as a positive for standing up to scrutiny on the job.
Loiselle may have to restructure the department upon his arrival as well because Brooks also reported that Brian Leetch is leaving the department of player safety. The Hall of Fame defenseman was hired by the NHL last August to be the manager of player safety.
It's a tough, but important job that Loiselle will reportedly inherit. Now if only the best guy to ask for advice hadn't just fired him…