Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/09/14 at 08:01 AM ET
from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,
It was less than a month ago Tim Leiweke leaned into a microphone and all but called the Toronto Maple Leafs broken.
The CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment said he wasn’t sure they had the right environment, the right people, the right culture. He said making the playoffs two seasons ago clearly masked a deeper problem. He said the Maple Leafs lacked an identity.
A month later, and what have we learned? General manager Dave Nonis remains in place, superseded by the man Leiweke was introducing that day, Brendan Shanahan. On Thursday, the Leafs announced they have not only not fired head coach Randy Carlyle, but they have given him a two-year contract extension.
The more things change, it appears, the more they stay the same. If you follow the Leafs at all, you know this is not a promising sign.
added 9:43am, from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
This is an erosion of power for Carlyle.
"I'm surprised he stayed," said another coach.
The extension probably has everything to do with that. One year ago, Carlyle, fresh off Toronto's first playoff berth in nine years, had huge cachet and roster power. His fingerprints were all over the lineup changes. Last summer, a couple of his brethren were half-jokingly jealous about the say he had.
Now, a close confidant (assistant coach Dave Farrish) is out. (Greg Cronin and Scott Gordon, who inherited Carlyle, were fired as well.) Even tougher for the coach: he won't have sole approval on the new guys, whoever they are.
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