It seems this question will always be asked in Toronto when the Maple Leafs are not doing well. Will their head coach be fired? This time, it’s Randy Carlyle on the hot seat.
There will be many factors in whether or not Carlyle will keep his job past this season. The first and most obvious factor is whether the Toronto Maple Leafs make the playoffs. Of course, if the Leafs find a way to extend their season, there will be less pressure to get rid of him.
However, if the Leafs don’t make the playoffs, you can bet that Leaf fans will be calling for Carlyle’s head. After making the playoffs last season, expectations were to make it there once again and if they don’t, General Manager Dave Nonis might have no choice but to fire Carlyle.
The feeling right now is quite similar to the last days under Ron Wilson. We all know what happened two seasons ago. Things that just got so crazy and then-GM Brian Burke had to let go of his friend Wilson only a few months after giving him a contract extension.
The other big factor in all of this is the way that Carlyle is with the media. We all know that anything a coach says in Toronto will be talked and written about endlessly. If you say something bad about your players, such as saying James Reimer was “just okay”, you will have to answer for yourself. It was a problem for Wilson and now it looks like it will be the same for Carlyle.
The way the Leafs end the season will go a long way to deciding Carlyle’s fate with the Leafs. If the six-game losing streak they are currently on gets any bigger or they lose more games than they win in the final eight games, the likelihood of Carlyle getting the axe goes up. If the Leafs make the playoffs, he might get a reprieve.
What do you think?