Mar 2, 2012, 8:56 PM EDT
Call it another example of loyalty or merely familiarity, but definitely call it official: Brian Burke has made Randy Carlyle the new coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Carlyle will replace Ron Wilson, who was relieved of his duties Friday evening.
Carlyle and Burke were together in Anaheim, where they won the franchise’s only Stanley Cup in 2006-07 before Burke pursued his dream gig in Toronto.
Carlyle’s time with Anaheim
Carlyle will bring a different voice to the Toronto locker room because he’s more of a “taskmaster” type — an act that some would say eventually wore thin with the Ducks. Still, it’s tough to argue with his results as he compiled a 273-182-61 record (the most wins in franchise history) during his seven seasons as Anaheim’s head coach.
Burke’s big gamble
This is a bold move to a) help Burke protect his own job and b) stop the bleeding and make good on the franchise’s best chance to break its post-lockout playoff hex.
– The irony of this situation is that Carlyle and the man he’s replacing, Wilson, were turfed a short while after signing extensions. Carlyle re-upped with the Ducks this past summer but was canned on Nov. 30; Wilson was extended earlier this season (though he infamously announced the news on Christmas Day) but was fired with 18 games left in the regular season.
— Six degrees of separation: Wilson, Carlyle and Bruce Boudreau (who replaced Carlyle in Anaheim) all played together on the 1977-78 Maple Leafs. Carlyle becomes the 16th man to have both played for the Maple Leafs and then taken on the reins as the team’s coach.
— This move reunites Carlyle with All-Star Joffrey Lupul, who’s enjoying a fantastic season in Toronto. Lupul was traded away twice during Carlyle’s tenure in Anaheim and their relationship wasn’t great:
“You want to prove people wrong,” he said. “(Carlyle) didn’t give me any opportunity on left wing. His words to me were, ‘You’re not able to play left wing in this league.’ It’s something I’ve worked on since I got to Toronto, and now I feel more comfortable on left than I ever was on right.”
Told of Lupul’s post-trade sentiments, Carlyle smiled: “Players make comments. It’s not up to management or coaches to throw any dirt one way or the other.“
— Burke and Carlyle will address the media on Saturday at 10am ET.
- Byfuglien to have phone hearing for Miller cross-check 40
- Patrick Kane is practicing today 30
- NHL on NBCSN: Flyers won’t fool with Penguins on Rivalry Night 32
- ‘Could’ve broken his neck,’ says Vigneault of Byfuglien cross check on Miller 65
- Video: Byfuglien gets away with ugly cross check, penalized late in Jets loss to Rangers 35
- Video: Lucic scores late winner, Bruins deal crushing blow to Panthers playoff hopes 9
- Video: Ovi becomes sixth player in history to record six 50-goal seasons 18
- ‘Almost like a game seven tonight’ for Bruins, Panthers 15
- Report: Warrant issued for Deveaux’s arrest following Swedish league attack 48
- How bad are things for the Kings after Monday? 22