One of the most surprising moments of the off-season for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs this off-season was the retention of head coach Randy Carlyle. Not only did the Leafs not fire him, but they give him a two-year extension. This didn’t go over well with a good portion of Leafs Nation.
However, fans still wishing for a new head coach could still have their day. Remember the last days of Ron Wilson in Toronto? He got a contract extension and was fired a couple of months later.
We all want the Leafs to succeed this season whether it’s making the playoffs or in tanking for Connor McDavid, but what if they don’t? How long is the leash?
It’s fair to say if the Leafs get off to a horrible start and are near the basement of the NHL for a month or two, the likelihood of Carlyle getting the axe during the season would go up. But what if the Leafs are just on the outside of the playoffs looking in?
Then there is the Mike Babcock factor. Until he re-signs with the Detroit Red Wings, there will be fans and probably media speculating that it’s a sure thing that he’ll be coming to the Leafs in time for the 2015-16 season. If that were to happen, I’m betting that the Leafs wouldn’t be making the playoffs again this season. However, there have been some teams in sports that have fired coaches after a successful season so you never know.
With all this, unless the Leafs get off to a truly horrible start, I would say the chances of Carlyle ending the season as the Leafs head coach is pretty high. What do you guys think?