Toronto Maple Leafs need to make significant changes next season

Head Coach Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
Head Coach Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Former head coach Bruce Boudreau. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /


Prior to the 2019-20 season, the Toronto Maple Leafs made changes to their assistant coaches to help Babcock get the team over the difficulties they faced when they came up against the Boston Bruins once again in the first round of the playoffs.

These changes didn’t help much and Babcock, in his own world of stubbornness, was out of the job after a string of poor losses and the Leafs dropping down the standings.

One assistant coach is already on his way out in the form of Paul Macfarland, who has accepted the job of head coach of the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League.

Macfarlane was brought in to help the Leafs’ power-play unit unlock its potential and become the dominating force that it was expected to be.

The unit was solid, ranking sixth in the regular season, but it didn’t do much to help during the best-of-five series against Columbus, with the team being shut-out in two games.

Replacing Macfarland with a bona fide offensive power-play coach is something the Leafs need to address as soon as it is possible to do so.

To have the talents of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares not be able to beat the Blue Jackets is a huge disappointment and starting with improving the offence’s special teams is the right way to go.

Next is replacing Dave Hakstol, who was brought in as a Babcock guy.

Keefe deserves to have the opportunity to work with his own coaching team and that means replacing Hakstol to bring in a guy he feels comfortable with and believes can get the team’s defensive unit — which may look significantly different next season — rolling.

Bruce Boudreau is a coach without a team and his well-documented love for the Toronto Maple Leafs has seen plenty of people suggest he be brought in as an assistant.

If Boudreau is willing to be an assistant for Keefe, he would be an excellent hire for the team, with a strong defensive mind and genuine love and passion for the team that can boost morale and get the team going.