The Toronto Maple Leafs must like to reward failure. That’s what they did today as not only did they bring back Randy Carlyle as head coach, they signed him to a two-year contract extension.
General Manager Dave Nonis explained the move in a conference call today.
“If you’ve seen it being done before with a lot of the same players and that coach leading that group, I know it can happen… It has happened with this group before. He has reached them before. He has reached them at times this year.”
“We feel he is the guy that can get through to this group.”
While Carlyle is staying, his assistant coaches are not. Scott Gordon, Greg Cronin and Dave Farrish have all been let go. I accept all the assistants being fired, but why not go all the way. Adam Proteau made this gem of a tweet.
Even though the Leafs made the playoffs in the lockout-shortened season, the Leafs statistics, such as puck possession, have been getting worse. The only reason the Leafs were close to the playoffs this season was their goalies at the beginning of the season. Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer won the Leafs a lot of games that they shouldn’t have won early on this season.
Speaking of the puck possession stats, James Mirtle tweeted this out. Pretty much sums it up.
With this decision, it appears that Brendan Shanahan and Dave Nonis are going in a “blame the players” direction. If that is indeed what happens, I would expect the Leafs to make lots of moves during this off-season. Nonis said this today.
“I’m not going to make grand predictions about major moves but we’re going to make some major changes… This was the first and probably the most important decision we were going to make in the off-season.”
There should be some big moves coming from the Leafs this summer. Whether it be trades or signing free agents, the Leafs will be busy. As I have said many times before, next year’s Leafs team will be very different than this years.