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Randy Carlyle is the new Toronto Maple Leafs head coach

Mar 2, 2012, 8:56 PM EDT

Randy Carlyle AP

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.

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  1. firstandonlywarning - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    I think Crawford would have been a better choice, but he probably doesn’t mesh with Brian “should be fired too” Burke.
    It’s a pretty safe hire for the Leafs though, but the next order of business should be to get Jim Nill of Detroit on the phone in the off season and ask him how much?

    • firstandonlywarning - Mar 3, 2012 at 2:52 AM

      5 people too stupid to count the rings in Nill’s fingers?

      Why on earth would the Leafs want a guy like Jim Nill after being with Ken Holland and amazing scouting for nearly 2 decades?

      Ya, Leafs fans you stick with Burkie while we in Detroit keep laughing.

  2. blomfeld - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    SO “EFFING” WHAT ? …

    and in an unrelated story, AIG has hired a new janitorial services company for maintenance in building 5-C … I mean seriously, who gives a hoot about this crap ? … people “want” and “need” to know about the LA Kings and their late-season surge … not tripe like this … at any rate, if you haven’t already climbed aboard the King’s bandwagon, then make sure you do so soon … there ain’t nothing that’s gonna get between us and the Sisters come April … trust me ! :)

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 3, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Damien Cox wants Wilson fired and Eakins promoted. Burke obliges him and fires Wilson…then he hires bigger, Cup-winnier Wilson.

    Maybe Burke just really likes messing with the media.

  4. rainyday56 - Mar 3, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Well, I called it. In the previous post about Wilson I said “Two words:Randy Carlyle.” And here we are. I called the Hodgson move too. Months ago. You want your hockey insights straight up with a dash of credibility, look no farther than the rainyday man. Exclusively in the PHT comments section.

  5. firstandonlywarning - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Really? I’m intrigued tell me more

  6. blomfeld - Mar 2, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    well, it’s kinda like this … notwithstanding the likelihood that we Kings finish first in the Pacific and thus end up 3rd in the conference which would preclude us from having a go at them immediately, in the end it probably won’t matter … the Canucks are going to “get it” this April from us Kings, one way or the other !

    “Battle of the Little Bighorn” April 2012 … featuring the Kings vs the Canucks:

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