Toronto Maple Leafs: Head Coach Sheldon Keefe Contract Extended

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 30: Head coach Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs chats with the media prior to action the Buffalo Sabres in an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on November 30, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 30: Head coach Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs chats with the media prior to action the Buffalo Sabres in an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on November 30, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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On Thursday evening, hockey inside Pierre LeBrun from TSN reported that Toronto Maple Leafs and head coach Sheldon Keefe have agreed to a contract extension.

By signing a contract extension now, it will remove the distraction of Keefe being in the final year of his current contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Something the media and fans would undoubtedly keep bringing up as the season progresses.

This extension shows that Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and his management team still believe in Keefe as the head coach of this team. The term of two years is interesting though it says we trust you, but not for long.

Keefe’s new contract will kick in next season and finish at the end of the 2023-24 season. Toronto will need to have performed well in the NHL playoffs by then, or Keefe’s time in Toronto will be over.

Sheldon Keefe’s Time As Head Coach For The Toronto Maple Leafs

Sheldon Keefe has been the head coach of the Maple Leafs for parts of two seasons, but this season will be his first full season as head coach. Right now, the players are taking part in their first training camp under Keefe as head coach.

During his time as the head coach of this team, Keefe has a regular-season record of 62-29-12. That is a good record, but with nothing to show for it in the playoffs.

His time in Toronto will be over by the end of the 2023-24 season if he fails to get this team to advance deeper into the playoffs. He has three seasons to help this team win a championship or, at the very least, make it to the Stanley Cup final.

If Sheldon Keefe can guide this team to two or three deep playoff runs, then he might get another extension before this one runs out. From what fans have seen in the past, that is a very big IF.

I think that Sheldon Keefe is a fantastic coach and, I believe he is the right man for the Toronto Maple Leafs to have behind the bench. However, it’s time for the players to back up their head coach and go there and win a few playoff rounds.

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I do get the sense that the majority of the players love playing for him. So it would be nice if they could reward him with success on the ice beyond the regular season.