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Change seems to be the most commonly used word in relation to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but while that has already occurred at General Manager with the dismissal of Kyle Dubas and the hiring of Brad Treliving, and will likely happen with a significant changeover in the roster, that may not happen behind the bench.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday that he believes that Treliving and head coach Sheldon Keefe have met a couple of times since the new GM was hired on Thursday. While there is no confirmation of which direction the Leafs are leaning, it is believed that if Keefe is back, he will be given an extension and not go into the final year of his contract.
This situation is very similar to what the Leafs went through with Randy Carlyle in 2014. After collapsing late in the season, Carlyle was entering the final year of his contract but was given a one-year extension. Carlyle was fired in January 2015 and the extension ended up serving as a golden parachute for the former Norris Trophy winner.
The past few weeks have been a bit chaotic for the #Leafs On our recent pod our LTL Insider, Mike Augello, asked a question & we all agreed! Leave us a comment with your choice #LTL1917
An extension will not mean that Keefe is not on the hot seat, since he is being inherited by Treliving. You would have to say that over the next year or so, any long losing streak will continue to bring calls for Keefe’s ouster. Toronto will have to replace Spencer Carbery on the coaching staff and there are already rumors of former Leaf and current Calgary assistant Kirk Muller being a candidate if he does not get the Flames head coaching job.
Toronto is looking to maintain as much stability as possible in the wake of the departure of Dubas. It is probable that the Leafs management and scouting staff will be raided by Dubas in early July of those whose contracts are expiring. Brendan Shanahan and Treliving will try to keep Brandon Pridham around.
Former Leafs assistant coach Greg Cronin was named the head coach of the Anaheim Ducks. Cronin served on the staff of Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle before joining the New York Islanders in 2014. For the last five years, Cronin has served as the head coach of the Colorado Eagles, the AHL affiliate of the Avalanche.