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Leafs players not surprised by Carlyle’s return

May 11, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

Randy Carlyle, Toronto Maple Leafs AP

The Toronto Maple Leafs retention of Randy Carlyle as head coach may have come as a surprise to many fans, but to a pair of Leafs players it wasn’t.

Forward Nazem Kadri and defenseman Morgan Rielly are playing for Team Canada at the 2014 World Championships in Minsk and both players anticipated Carlyle sticking around as Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press shared.

“I wasn’t too sure how to react,” Rielly said. “I personally like Randy, I think he’s a great coach. I think we have a pretty good relationship. I didn’t really know what was going to happen with him either here or if he’s gone and then obviously all the other coaches. So you just have to keep an open mind about it.”

Kadri shared Rielly’s sentiments. With the seemingly contentious nature of his relationship with Carlyle, he put the blame of the Maple Leafs collapse this season on himself and his teammates saying, “I think the players got to be a little better and a little more prepared.”

Carlyle signed a two-year extension on Friday while his three assistant coaches were fired. Toronto ended the season going 2-12-0 falling from third-best in the Eastern Conference to out of the playoffs in 12th.

  1. nothanksimdriving123 - May 11, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Kadri says: “I think the players got to be a little better and a little more prepared.”
    Just a little better? I beg to differ.
    An enormously huge amount better is what is called for before you can end the drought of what will be at least 48 years between Finals appearances, a record for the known portions of our galaxy.

  2. channelguy - May 11, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    What do you expect them to say, since he’s still the coach? “No one on the team likes him or respects him and we were sure he would be canned after our latest collapse?” Not likely. That’s what you hear after a player is traded.

    Well, now that Carlyle is back, and extended, its a safe bet that the young players he doesn’t like, like Kadri and Gardiner, will be dumped in bad trades, and reliable ol’ graybeards brought in to fill their places. And when Leafs get off to a bad start, and Carlyle AND Nonis get fired, the latest rebuild can start without the young players they dumped.

  3. dilligaf101 - May 11, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Hire Rob Ford already!!!!

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 11, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      Really, he’ll crack the whip!

  4. beergold - May 12, 2014 at 5:34 AM

    Laffland!

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