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.
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.
So Carlyle will be forced to go it alone without his assistants, there’s just one problem with that though.
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.
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.