(Reuters) - The struggling Toronto Maple Leafs have named Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan as president and alternate governor to oversee all team operations, the NHL club said on Friday.
Shanahan, who joins a 97-year-old franchise that has missed the playoffs eight times in the last nine seasons, begins his role immediately, the team said in a statement.
The role essentially gives Shanahan the final say in all high-level hockey-related decisions made in the NHL's richest franchise, one that Forbes values at over $1 billion.
The 45-year-old Canadian, who joined the National Hockey League's head office in 2009 as vice president of hockey and business development, had been director of player safety since 2011.
Shanahan was an eight-time All-Star during a 22-year NHL career that included three Stanley Cup championships with the Detroit Red Wings and an Olympic gold medal with Canada in 2002.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last year.
The Maple Leafs said Shanahan will be formally introduced during a news conference on Monday.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Mitch Phillips)