Former Toronto Maple Leafs Coach Sheldon Keefe Hired by Devils

Less than two weeks after being fired, Sheldon Keefe found a new job
Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It did not take long for former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe to find a new job as hockey insider Darren Dreger reported that the New Jersey Devils hired him as their new main man behind their bench.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving fired Keefe just under two weeks ago after failing to make it out of the first round for the fourth time in five years.

Keefe had spent the previous nine seasons within the Maple Leafs organization, half of the time was split between coaching the NHL club with the other half head coaching their AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies where he won a Calder Cup in 2018.

Prior to joining the Maple Leafs organization he ran the Ontario Hockey League Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds bench for two and a half seasons.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs Coach Sheldon Keefe Hired by Devils

Dreger reported that the deal is worth four years, which will cover the two remaining years he had left with the Maple Leafs. The 43-year old posted a 212-97-40 as coach of the Maple Leafs, but had just one playoff series win, which came against the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2023.

The Devils returned to the NHL playoffs in 2023 after missing out the previous four seasons, however their play significantly dropped off this past season finishing 31 points lower than the year before and missing the playoffs. New Jersey had now made the playoffs just twice over the last 12 seasons since losing the Stanley Cup Final in 2012 against the Los Angeles Kings.

Keefe will have the opportunity to work with some high end skill in New Jersey as the team is led by two of the three Hughes brothers (Jack and Luke). Jack has had trouble staying healthy the last couple of years missing 20-games this past season, but when he is on the ice he is a top 15 player in the league. His brother Luke is showing signs of becoming an elite offensive defenseman after recording 47-points in his rookie season.

Similar to his time in Toronto, Keefe will lack a deep defense core, as well as goaltending. Right now soon to be 34-year old Jake Allen is the only goaltender in the organization with any type of NHL resume.


The new bench boss is primed to have a significant turn around if management can get find a netminder to split time with Allen, along with the core forwards having a healthy season. This past year along with Hughes, Timo Meier and Nico Hischier each missed substantial time.