Dave Nonis, Peter Horachek, Steve Spott fired by Maple Leafs
Other staff members also let go
The Toronto Maple Leafs didn't wait until "Black Monday" to continue their rebuild.
Instead, the NHL club, fresh off a 4-3 loss to Montreal that ended a horrific 30-44-8 season, announced Sunday morning it had fired general manager Dave Nonis, interim head coach Peter Horachek and some of his staff.
The club also announced coaches Steve Spott, Chris Dennis & Rick St. Croix (goaltending) have also been relieved of their duties.—@LeafsPR
Director of pro scouting Steve Kasper and director of player development Jim Hughes were also given their walking papers.
Steve Staios, who was added to the Leafs' bench upon Horachek's appointment in January, will resume his duties as manager of player development.
For now, assistant GM Kyle Dubas and director of player personnel Mark Hunter will share GM responsibilities on an interim basis.
Nonis departs with three years remaining on his contract and a 94-97-21 record in 212 games as Toronto's GM. He has a career mark of 224-188-46 in the role with the Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks.
He originally joined the Maple Leafs organization as senior vice president of hockey operations on Dec. 6, 2008.
Nonis made some questionable moves after replacing the fired Brian Burke on Jan. 9, 2013. He also wasn't hired by current team president Brendan Shanahan, who might look to replace Nonis with his own person.
The new GM will be tasked with overhauling a roster full of players that underperformed the past two seasons after making the playoffs in the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign. Veterans Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf, Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul could be among those traded.
"You know there's going to be change," Phaneuf said Saturday night.
Reports surfaced on Saturday that Horachek and possibly members of his coaching staff likely would be turfed Monday. The Leafs won nine of 42 games (9-28-5) since he took over from the fired Randy Carlyle on Jan. 7, when the Leafs were 21-16-3 and in a playoff spot.
Among the team's forgettable moments:
- It won one road game in 2015, going 1-21-3.
- Endured an 11-game losing streak (0-10-1).
- Went on a 16-game road winless streak, second worst in franchise history.
- Went from having the NHL's most potent offence under Carlyle (3.2 goals a game) to among the league's worst (2.025).
In 108 regular-season games as an interim head coach, Horachek is 35-64-9 with Toronto and Florida Panthers.
"You want to see more success, obviously," Horachek said on Saturday night. "If you don't get it, you have to keep trying in different directions and different manners of motivation and where you're going to go. …
"It's evident that there's lots of changes that have to happen, and the direction has to be in a different direction."
Not Leafs' worst season
Since the NHL began a 80-game season in 1974, Toronto has finished with fewer than 67 points seven times. They had 68 this season.
- 1981-82: 20-44-16, 56 points
- 1983-84: 26-45-9, 61 points
- 1984-85: 20-52-8, 48 points
- 1985-86: 25-48-7, 57 points
- 1987-88: 21-49-10, 52 points
- 1988-89: 28-46-6, 62 points
- 1990-91: 23-46-11, 57 points
With files from The Canadian Press