The Toronto Maple Leafs not only retained head coach Randy Carlyle yesterday afternoon, but they extended his contract until 2017. All three of his assistant coaches, however, will not be back. In this business, I don’t think extending a contract means much, but the news they wouldn’t be firing Carlyle is disappointing. As Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post reports, general manager Dave Nonis still has faith in Carlyle to turn this ship around.
It’s starting to look more and more like Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke was really just talking out of his you-know-what when he said the team needed a change in identity when he brought in Brendan Shanahan as president of the team. The GM and the coach are still here, proving that nobody has learned anything from last year’s disastrous season. Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star has more on why yesterday’s moves make zero sense.
Chemmy of Pension Plan Puppets looks at three significant points in Carlyle’s tenure with the Leafs. Is this the work of a man who deserves to have his contract extended?
Tyler Dellow of Sportsnet shows the possession stats and how Carlyle’s teams are consistently terrible in this regard. He also looked at how Carlyle’s conservative systems are hurting the Leafs possession-wise.
Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports has a step-away-from-the-ledge message for Leafs fans. Friedman contends that Carlyle will have a very short leash, and Shanahan is buying time until the guy he wants to replace him comes on the market. Like, say, Mike Babcock.
The Toronto Marlies open up the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs in Chicago to take on the Wolves at 8:30 Eastern Time tonight. To learn more about what the Wolves and the other Calder Cup hopefuls bring to the table, here’s Josh Weissbock’s second-round preview for NHL Numbers.
Eric T. of Outnumbered had all of the Philadelphia Flyers’ dump-ins from last season recorded to figure out which players were most likely to successfully recover them. As he found out, the results seemed to be pretty much random, and he sees it as possible further evidence that a team’s ability to generate shot attempts has much more to do with how they enter the zone rather than what they do when they enter it.
The Leafs won’t get an opportunity to draft Aaron Ekblad this June unless they trade into the top three, but the Belle River, ON native is definitely a can’t-miss prospect who will be very fun to watch maybe as soon as next season in the NHL. MG Bombay of Outside The Crease profiled the big, talented defenseman.