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Report: The Toronto Maple Leafs Have Hired their New Head Coach

After weeks of speculation and rumours, the Toronto Maple Leafs reportedly have their new head coach signed, sealed, and delivered. Craig Berube will be named as the 41st head coach in franchise history (if we are going back to the Toronto Arenas edition of the franchise). The speculation and rumours surrounded Berube but also, whether or not the previous Leaf bench boss, Sheldon Keefe, would be fired. He was fired by General Manager Brad Treliving, and so the Leafs search for a new coach began.

The Leafs Have Found their New Head Coach

Craig Berube comes in as a very respected figure in the hockey community. Before his hiring, he had been recognized as a top candidate for the many coaching vacancies around the NHL. However, if the opportunity to coach in the Mecca of hockey, Toronto, was a possibility, like many people, why wouldn’t you relish the chance. In fact, there was some talk that Craig Berube didn’t favour the Ottawa Senators coaching vacancy. The speculated influencing factor came down to money. Money, that historically has not been an issue when it comes to negotiating with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Ltd. (MLSE).

A Look Through Craig Berube’s Coaching Record

Throughout Craig Berube’s coaching career, he has behind the bench for two organizations. He spent two years with the Philadelphia Flyers, and more recognizably, six years with the St. Louis Blues. Furthermore, his tenure with the Blues included the 2019 Stanley Cup championship. Given the Blues strong defensive play, it helped Berube develop a reputation as a successful coach. However, his coaching record has been susceptible to inconsistencies. For instance with the Blues, three times his winning percentage was .651 or higher. Conversely, since the start of the 2022-23 season, in 110 games, he compiled an unimpressive .491 Win%.

Will Craig Berube Be Successful as the Head Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Despite his inconsistent coaching record previously, Craig Berube does know how to coach winners. When the Blues had a strong lineup, he was able to instill team defence, and the results followed. Similar to those strong teams with the Blues, this Leaf lineup is likewise talented. They have talented players throughout the lineup, on both sides of the puck. If Berube is able to get everyone working hard, committed to team defence, and still the freedom to produce, this will be a great match.

Hiring Berube means that most of Treliving’s work is done for now. There has been further speculation about other off-ice moves for the club. As an example, club president Brendan Shanahan has been in Toronto for ten years, with no more success than Keefe enjoyed. However, at this time, the rest of the management and coaching regime will stay intact. Now it seems the Treliving can focus on the on-ice product, and the big pending free agents. Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi are free agents this summer, and did plenty to convince management their worthy of new deals. Also, after 2024-25, Mitch Marnerand John Tavares are due. The nearly $22 million combined they earn next year will likely be too much going forward. Therefore, very likely one will be on the move.

Main photo credit: Ron Chenoy USA TODAY Sports


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