Maple Leafs Rumors and Notes: Coaching, Marlies, Older Free Agents and Trade Front

  • Kevin McGran: Leafs sign head coach Randy Carlyle to a two year contract extension.
  • Kevin McGran: Dave Nonis: “We decided together (with Shanny) that Randy Carlyle was the right person to lead this team.”
  • John Shannon: Leafs assistants Greg Cronin, Scott Gordon and Dave Farrish were let go.
  • Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post: Dave Nonis during the conference call.

    “We felt that we could use a change in the mix, some different ideas, some different ways of approaching how the game is played and how we want to play,” Leafs general manager Dave Nonis said in a conference call with reporters. “And for us to do that, we felt it was important to make that change at the assistant coaches’ level. It’s not an indictment of their ability.”

    On keeping Carlyle.

    “This, in our minds, was clearly the best option,” Nonis said. “This is a guy that we believe can get the job done for us.”

    Nonis on giving Carlyle a two year extension.

    “It was important for us to make it clear that Randy has the support needed to move forward and have the positive effects on the team that we need.”

  • Pierre LeBrun: If the Sharks had let Todd McLellan go, things may have turned out differently in Toronto.
  • Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie “Nothing is pressing, but can this team come back with same mgmt, same coaches and same players and tell fans that things are OK?” … “I think Shanahan was fully involved in this decision. If he wanted Carlyle gone, he’d be gone” … This is a fully endorsed Shanahan decision and people need to look at it that way” … “If the case is that the head coach is angry his friends have been fired and doesn’t want to adapt then nothing will change”
  • Hope Smoke: Dave Nonis: “We’ll bring in some guys from Marlies that are ready, some older free agents on short contracts & most important on the trade front” … “I think that we have a lot of good pieces on the back end especially with young players. We need to see if its the right mix” …”We don’t want to throw out young pieces that are growing and will make mistakes.” … “Centres and defenseman are the hardest players to acquire.” …”There are going to be players between now and the end of June that will be offered to us via trade.” … “We need to decide whether those players are going to be able to help us.” … “We’ll look at older UFAs on short term deals that are able to help us and bringing in some guys from the Marlies that are ready”
  • Hope Smoke: Dave Nonis “We felt we needed to change the mix, get some different defensive schemes and new relationships with players” … “A lot of things will change when you bring in three new assistants. We think this is something that can give us a spark”
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “What I know is that the Leafs intend to help this team and bring in new bodies. I think the D core will look a lot different” … “I believe Nonis wants to sign free agents to add some experience and older players into the young group”
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “I think the Leafs would consider bringing in Oates for sure. I think there would be interest in Scott Arniel, yes” … “Haven’t heard the Bruce Cassidy name in a while and he’s an interesting candidate. I wouldn’t say yes or no about him and the Leafs” … “Search for Leafs assistants needs to be exhaustive. Otherwise, 3 men have been let go for no significant reason other than change”
  • Steve Simmons: “More structural changes may be coming post draft but Leafs front office trio of Dave Nonis, Claude Loiselle and Dave Poulin remains in place.”


  1. Chris

    May 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    This is why being a Leaf fan is so hard; we support a team that will never win. What’s worse is we see these ridiculous decisions and the arrogance behind them.

    They talk up their drafting strategy of drafting ‘safe’ players (Hockey News Future Watch Edition and the National Post article on Gauthier) and yet yield no top quality NHL players from it. Then, even when they see other teams draft quality players after their picks every single year, they continue to do the same thing.

    They talk about creating a culture of accountability and then when the man who’s responsible for creating the culture of the team fails to hold his players accountable to each other and the system THREE YEARS IN A ROW not only do they NOT fire him (which is fine if there are no other options) but EXTEND him. How is rewarding failure a demonstration of accountability?

    Nonis said on that same interview that he won’t make it very far in this market if he listened to public opinion.

    The same public that said Clarkson was a bad signing? The same public that criticized the Leafs defensive structure?

    Here’s a Nonis quote about the public concern over the Leafs negative Corsi stats.””We’re constantly trying to find solid uses for [our analytics budget,” Nonis said. “The last six, seven years, we’ve had a significant dollar amount in our budget for analytics and most of those years we didn’t use it. We couldn’t find a system or a group we felt we could rely on to help us make reasonable decisions.”


    “People run with these stats like they’re something we should pay attention to and make decisions on, and as of right now, very few of them are worth anything to us,” he said at one point during the panel, blaming media and fans for overhyping the analytics currently available.”

    He also said the players proved they could play at a high level.

    When? In a 48 game shortened season? This year when, after October, they had four regulation wins (the same as Buffalo and less than Edmonton)? When they were outshot in 76% of their games?

    When exactly did they show that they were anything other than a team that relied on goaltending and the shootout to get points?

    Such garbage.

    How can Nonis justify firing the assistants and EXTENDING the coach? So it was the assistants fault and Carlyle was so good that he got an extension?

    This team will never win. Keep drafting B prospects with your fingers crossed, keep ignoring analytics (Chicago by the way are VERY into analytics to the point where Bowman doesn’t even get into it in interviews for fear of giving something away), keep doing the same crap over and over again and expecting a different result.

    Meanwhile we Leaf fans will sit here and watch the arrogant management continue to defend their own stupid moves and drive this franchise even further into the ground.

  2. EastCoastHockeyFan

    May 9, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    For the first time ever i am on the same page as chris’s long winded rant.
    near sick when i heard they did not fire Carlyle, let alone gave him an extension. i was hoping Shanahan was going to clean house. change the loosing culture in Toronto. bring in top to bottom people that wanted to win. i guess Shanny bought into the leafs system instead of the other way around.

  3. hotwings

    May 9, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Long story short, they extended Carlyle, because they didn’t want Trotz and no one else was ‘that much’ better than what they had in Carlyle. It’s obvious the Leafs are not serious playoff contenders next year, nor they year after… so, it was kind of expected to extend Carlyle…

  4. EastCoastHockeyFan

    May 9, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    @ hotwings
    Its not necessarily upgrading but changing the attitude in the system top to bottom. is Carlyle a nhl caliber coach, yes, did he take the team to the play offs last year when no one expected it, yes. does toronto still need a new start, yes. from top to bottom
    He can coach thats not the issue, the issue is the players not buying into his systems, and they have not to this point. there needs to be management changes, coaching changes, and player changes if you want to change the culture but again thats a top to bottom change, you cant keep all the head staff bring the old core back plug some ufa holes and call it golden its more of the same year after year
    thats what is disappointing out of all of this.

  5. hotwings

    May 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    i get the ‘change the attitude’ angle, but, honestly, I am not expecting this team to reach another ‘gear’ until the 2015-2016 season…. their core (and more specifically, their contracts) is looking more and and more suspect as time ticks by…

  6. Chris

    May 10, 2014 at 3:37 am

    I just think that not firing him sends the message of ‘we’re sticking with this guy so you better buy in’ but extending him sends the message that ‘mediocrity will be rewarded’ which I think is te wrong message.

    Not sure if you boys agree but I found Nonis’s rationale arrogant in tone and considering how shit this team is there is no good reason for it.

  7. EastCoastHockeyFan

    May 10, 2014 at 8:02 am

    you are right hotwings in best case is 2015-2016, IF they keep there young talent in tacked and happy. but the core and there contracts looking suspect is one of my biggest issues. and keeping Carlyle and Nonis tends to lead me to bealive that it will be the same thing next year as this, and the one after that. they went out last year and over spent on a huge long term deal to bring in clarkson over payed phaneuf and tossed out 3 picks for bolland for a one season rental when they were not contenders now. nonis comes out and says he wants to bring in some older ufa’s to help mentor the youth. in my mind thats what they tryed last year, it didnt work. so when you have low cap space, your stuck with your “core” these “older” ufa’s hes looking at (and pickings are slim) are going to be taking the young guys roster spots, or filling in holes from there one ufa’s that walk that will be more lateral moves in the roster at best.
    it was a strech but i was very much hoping they would drop carlyle AND nonis.

  8. corey

    May 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Carlye should be gone, gardiner in the ahl for sure, the kid is only 180 lbs, reilly is borderline maybe 3rd d pairing on any decent team, let them develop with the marlies while replacing them with older guys maybe like gilbert instead of ruining them, they play awful with more giveaways then the local whuure, how can you blame phaneuf when he plays with tools like franson (who is brutal) gunnarson and then some kids who should be developing in ahl, maybe if kadri had have been playing for the marlies last year he would have some motivation to play and when i say play i mean compete, instead of believing he is owed something from this organization, and people who blame the scouts that is ridiculous, there mostly top 10 picks, it is the management ruining them, maybe they will learn with gauthier but im sure they will take him from junior and he will wearing the blue and white on the 3rd line replacing bolland or something dumb and then good day to his career like pouliot.

  9. corey

    May 10, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    as up until this season (on the pouliot thing)

  10. corey

    May 10, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    imagine a pairing of phaneuf with a guy like subban, peitrangelo, doughty, etc

  11. Dave

    May 10, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    The leafs lack heart. Pheneuf is not a leader. Clark and Gilmour were. Get us a captain who wants to win.

  12. 4ever67

    May 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Say what!!!!!