The Toronto Maple Leafs brain trust have decided to keep Randy Carlyle behind the bench, extending his contract by two years.
Tim Leiweke promised a culture change for the Maple Leafs, and the hiring of Brendan Shanahan brought with it…absolutely no culture change. Same coach, same GM.
While some believe Carlyle is a good coach who simply had a bad year last year, others point to the downward trend he had each year with Anaheim following their cup victory, as well as the downward trend each year so far with the Maple Leafs.
In 2+ years under Carlyle, Leafs have been an awful defensive team relying on percentages, goaltending & luck to survive. We all agree, yes?
— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) May 8, 2014
Carlyle, a supposed defensive coach, has seen this team fall to one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Two years ago James Reimer gave the team .924 sv% goaltending. Last year Bernier gave them .923. What’s going to happen to this team when they don’t get Vezina quality goaltending?
Simply put, they’ll challenge for the first overall pick.
While keeping Carlyle, the Leafs fired three of his assistants.
Leafs announce Cronin,Gordon and Farrish out…Carlyle gets 2 year extension.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) May 8, 2014
So Carlyle will be forced to go it alone without his assistants, there’s just one problem with that though.
Carlyle possibly losing Cronin and Gordon as assistants doesn't hurt him. They were holdovers from Wilson era (and he didn't even want them)
— Michael Traikos (@Michael_Traikos) May 8, 2014
Farrish is a friend of Carlyle’s though, so that one does hurt him.
Overall the Leafs responded to their third straight disastrous ending to a season (and the second under Carlyle) by firing coaches he doesn’t even want.
Nonis had a chance to move on from Carlyle and pick his own coach, but that chance is now gone. As goes Carlyle so too will Nonis go, as he continues to bring in players Carlyle loves like David Clarkson while sending more skilled forwards, like MacArthur and Grabovski, packing.
So this could be a disaster for the Leafs. With no improvement under Carlyle the Leafs could be horrifically bad. As the news broke on twitter, the jokes began.
Watching the Leafs fans in my timeline right now is like watching the part of the disaster movie with the people who don't get away
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) May 8, 2014
Randy Carlyle is staying in Toronto? Of Corsi is.
— Fear The Fin (@fearthefin) May 8, 2014
YKNOW GOOD JOB BY TRONNA EH, YA NEED A GOOD DEEFENSIVE COACH LIKE RANDY CARLYLE TA FIX RANDY CARLYLE'S AWFUL DEEFENSIVE TEAM
— Don Cherry Parody (@DonCherryParody) May 8, 2014
You can read a breakdown of Randy Carlyle as the Leafs head coach last year and how he did. Let’s hope come next season the off-season review is a tad happier. You can read the full press release here.