Randy Carlyle staying as Maple Leafs head coach
Gets 2-year extension after missing playoffs
Randy Carlyle will remain the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs after receiving a two-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday.
There was speculation that Carlyle would be let go after the Leafs' late-season collapse led to them missing the NHL playoffs.
Three members of Carlyle's staff will not be back, though, as assistant coaches Dave Farrish, Scott Gordon and Greg Cronin were let go.
Toronto started the 20013-14 season with a 10-4-0 record in the month of October, fuelling hopes that the team would make its second consecutive post-season appearance after missing out for seven seasons in a row. But the Leafs lost 12 of their final 14 games and fell short of the playoffs by a significant margin.
After the season, the team hired Brendan Shanahan as its new president while retaining general manager Dave Nonis.
Thursday's press release announcing the Carlyle extension said the Nonis-led decision was made "with input and support" from Shanahan.
“It was important, after a disappointing end to the season and the arrival of Brendan as team president, to conduct a thorough review of the organization as we continue the work of building a winning tradition and culture for the Maple Leafs,” Nonis said in the statement. “That process started with the head coach, and as we analyzed it, we decided together that Randy Carlyle was the right person to lead this team.
"In Randy we know that we have a leader who has enjoyed a high level of success as both a player and a coach, including a Stanley Cup championship. It was important that the positives Randy brings to our team were not overshadowed by a finish to the season that we all must take responsibility for.”
Carlyle, 58, won the Stanley Cup as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He took over behind the Leafs' bench in March of 2012, and led the team to the playoffs in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. Toronto's first-round series against Boston ended in spectacular fashion when the Bruins erased a 4-1 deficit in the third period of Game 7 before winning in overtime.
Carlyle was a respected defenceman during a lengthy NHL career that included stints with Toronto, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg. The native of Sudbury, Ont., won the Norris Trophy as the league's top blue-liner of the 1980-81 season, when he played for the Penguins.
“I appreciate the support of Brendan, Dave and the entire organization and am looking forward to working with them to get the Maple Leafs back into the playoffs,” Carlyle said in the team's press release. “We have a strong foundation here and everyone wants to get back to work to deliver the results that we know this team is capable of.
"At the same time, I’d like to extend my gratitude to my assistant coaching staff. Their contributions will continue to be an important part of this team’s success in the future, and for me personally, will always be reflected in me as a head coach.”