It's Time for the Toronto Maple Leafs to Make a Coaching Change

St Louis Blues v Columbus Blue Jackets
St Louis Blues v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

Since the calendar turned to 2024, the Toronto Maple Leafs are 4-2-1 picking up nine of a possible 14 points, yet they are playing some of the worst hockey in the Auston Matthews era.

While the record looks good, fans have to take into consideration that three of those Toronto Maple Leafs wins came against the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks; two of the worst teams in the NHL.

Even the LA Kings, who were thought to be a good team, have lost eight in a row.

Everything, well nearly everything is wrong with the team and with Fire Keefe chants, here is a rant of why it is time to make a coaching change

Stop Relying on his Sheldon Keefe's Record

Sheldon Keefe supporters will always go to the regular season record that the former AHL Calder Cup winning coach has accomplished. Keefe has the fifth most wins in team history and his .669 winning percentage is the highest ever on the franchise coaching list.

The problem is relying on those numbers is that there has not been a coach that has inherited a team that had high caliber talent that Keefe was given. Never have the Toronto Maple Leafs had a generational talent in Matthews, who were accompanied by mega superstar talent like William Nylander and Mitch Marner and then surround them with elite talent in Morgan Rielly, John Tavares and the other players that have come and gone; and put them all in their prime.

That is the equivalent of starting Pat Burns first season with a Mats Sundin, Eric Lindros, Pavel Bure and Mike Modano all in their mid 20s. Burns would have had the highest winning percentage and made the team into a dynasty.

It is true that the Maple Leafs have been the better team in many of their playoff series that they have lost, but one thing has been consistent in each of those rounds; Keefe has been outcoached by his counterpart.

The one series that Toronto was able to win came last Spring when they were outplayed by the Tampa Bay Lightning and were on the fortunate side of some lucky bounces. In the second round the Florida Panthers quickly discarded the team.

The ideal coach in Toronto would be Rod Brind'Amour or Rick Tocchet, however neither of those men are available, the next in line should be Craig Berube who was let go by the St. Louis Blues earlier this season.

A playing career as a coach isn't the be all end all, but it does hold some weight. The Matthews and Marner era have had two coaches who had a combined to play 125 games in the NHL. The team may want a coach that has been there both as a coach and a player and will force them into the fight the way Mike Babcock and Keefe were unable to do.

Berube would come with over 1,000 NHL games of playing experience, along with an additional 500 games of coaching experience, which most importantly comes with a Stanley Cup when he took over the Blues bench midway through the 2018-19 season.


This should be the last week of Keefe's coaching tenure with Toronto.