Adding general manager Lou Lamoriello and coach Mike Babcock attracted most of the headlines for the Toronto Maple Leafs this past summer.
But what happens a five-minute drive from Air Canada Centre with the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies this winter is where the on-ice future begins for the Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs' organizational overhaul and the rebuilding process that begins this season will hinge on new Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe being able to open a pipeline of talent from Ricoh Coliseum to Air Canada Centre. Toronto management has provided Keefe, 35, with plenty of resources and raw talent to do so.
"I know that when I played we didn't have [dressing] rooms or amenities like this here at Ricoh [Coliseum]," said Keefe, who played in parts of four AHL seasons. "In this organization, the resources around the players and the attention to detail in all areas of development is top-notch."