The Toronto Maple Leafs Have No Coach, No GM and No Goalie

Jan 13, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe during the third
Jan 13, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe during the third / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

It was fun while it lasted for Toronto Maple Leafs soon-to-be Ex-Coach Sheldon Keefe.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had five of their best years since their last championship under Keefe, and Kyle Dubas. They could just never catch a break in the playoffs.

For whatever reason, when the playoffs rolled around, Keefe could never get any scoring out of his top players. Considering how the Leafs are constructed, that is both ironic and destructive.

It's been obvious watching the Leafs for a while now that Keefe is done with this team - and hey, it happens to the best coaches of all-time. When its your time for the team to hear a new voice, then it's time.

Fortunately for Keefe, I'm guessing there will be a free plane ticket to Pittsburgh waiting for him when he wants it. He'll be back in the NHL soon enough, and he can rest easy knowing this is not his fault.

A coach can't do much to affect the outcome of a game when his team doesn't have a goalie or a GM - at leat not one doing his job.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Have no Coach, No GM and No Goalie

After last night's game against Vancouver - a frustrating loss if there ever was one - Keefe is done. I doubt they'll fire him before tonight's game, but doubt he coaches another one, and if he finishes the season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, I'll eat my hat.

But this is all on Brad Treliving, the name-brand shopper who went 0 for 5 with his summer signings. (David Kampf - complete failure. Ryan Reaves - embarassment. Max Domi - misguided. Tyler Bertuzzi - that one should have worked out, that's just bad luck. John Klingberg - also an embrassment).

But it is not Treliving's summer from hell that sank this team. It was his dereliction of duty when called upon to act.

When Jake McCabe, Timothy Liljegren and Mark Giordano were all simultainiously injured, Treliving did not act. He didn't even use the opportunity to test out one of the team's top prospects.

When it was clear, probably even to the Toronto Sun, that TJ Brodie has declined severly, Treliving still is yet to act.

And when the team was left without a goalie due to the implosion of Ilya Samsonov and the (entirely foreseeable) injury to Joseph Woll, he did not act. It's been over 20 games, a quarter of a season, in which the Leafs have been relyong on a goalie who cleared waivers after having 5 straight season where he failed to post a save percentage of .901.

The GM literally left the team without a goalie for a quarter-season and counting.

In over 35 watching this team, it's the worst performance from a General Manager I have ever seen.

So when Sheldon Keefe is inevitably given the axe, whether it's now or next week, remember who is to blame.


P.S As an unrelated public service announcement, you should know, as a Leafs fan, that despite the recent scoring slump, John Tavares is still putting up some solid advanced stats, which indicate fully that he is not suddenly in decline.