The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Randy Carlyle. Assistant coaches Steve Spott and Peter Horachek will take over behind the bench for the time being.
“I want to thank Randy for all of his hard work and dedication,” said Nonis. “It’s never an easy decision to make when changing your leadership but our team was not trending in the right direction and we felt an immediate change was necessary.”
Thoughts from the media:
- Gord Stellick: “Of the times the Leafs have changed coaches in-season…only three have had somewhat of a positive change in team record.”
- Anthony Petrielli: “Carlyle quite literally died on the hill of sticking with JVR-Bozak-Kessel, a line that got run over & cheated. Hope the new guy sees this.”
- Damien Cox: “Carlyle firing is just the first step for Leafs. Organization not seeing this as a final solution in any way.”
- Gus Katsaros: “Skeptical this coaching change makes any more impact than the Leafs have shown already this season. They’ll be world beaters some days & bottom scrapers others. Even with systems changes (which I’m not sure will make much of a difference). Horacek/Spott can change up lines and add some different dynamics, but I don’t know how much really changes. PP & PK likely stays the same. Coaches may change up the forecheck. Been diddling all season in the defensive zone to minimal effect. Can’t see enough changes in any facet.”
- Darren Dreger: Both Brendan Shanahan and Dave Nonis share in the decision to fire Carlyle. All players are potential trade targets now.
- Darren Dreger: The decision to fire Carlyle was made yesterday.
- James Gordon: “If I’m the Leafs, I don’t piss away this lucky start waiting for Babcock. Hire Dan Bylsma now and turn it into a legit playoff spot.”
- Sportsnet Stats: “Last 2 Head Coaches:
Randy Carlyle – 91-78-19 (.535 PTS%)
Ron Wilson – 130-135-45 (.492 PTS%)”
- Damien Cox: “Just a guess, but Peter Horachek as interim head coach makes the most sense at this moment.”
- Steve Simmons: “It’s the wrong time to appoint a full time head coach unless you truly believe in Peter DeBoer or Dan Bylsma. I’d wait to end of season.”
- Down Goes Brown: “It goes without saying: This is a smart move by Leafs. Need to evaluate roster without Carlyle before deciding whether to tear it all down.”
- Shawn Roarke: “Carlyle dismissed as TOR coach this am Was 91-78-19 in less than 3 yrs. 1 p/o appearance. Leafs hold final playoff spot, but 3-7 in last 10”
- Down Goes Brown: “Randy Carlyle doesn’t make it through the season. Nobody could have seen this coming except literally everyone.”
- Elliotte Friedman: “Can’t help but wonder if Leafs didn’t want to do it on day of gold medal game.”
- Glenn Schiiler: “Not to say Randy was perfect, but there’s no excuse for a professional hockey player to not commit to a 2-way game.”
- Damien Cox: “It’s the right call for the Leafs. Blockbuster trades to fix the roster just aren’t possible. Might as well try this to save the season.”
Question period from Dave Nonis press conference