Maple Leafs fire head coach Sheldon Keefe


The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Sheldon Keefe of Brampton, Ontario. The firing on Thursday came after the Maple Leafs were unable to win a round in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They were eliminated in seven games to the Boston Bruins.

Coached the Maple Leafs for five seasons

Keefe, who was originally hired by former Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas, spent five seasons coaching the Maple Leafs since 2019-20. In 349 games, Keefe had a record of 212 wins, 97 regulation losses, and 40 losses in extra time, for a winning percentage of .665.

Only one playoff series win

Even though the Maple Leafs made the qualification round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs (lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets), and the playoffs the next four years afterwards, Toronto only won one series with Keefe as their head coach. That came in 2023, when the Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.

Maple Leafs had postseason disarray

The one word that best described the Maple Leafs’s first round playoff series with the Boston Bruins was disarray. The Maple Leafs forwards of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander were seen arguing on the bench in game four. After the argument took place, Matthews did not play games five and six with an illness. In game seven with Matthews back, the Maple Leafs lost 2-1 to the Bruins in a tight checking affair. Even though Keefe received praise by many during the Bruins/Maple Leafs series for instituting a successful defensive zone game strategy that made things challenging for the Bruins to generate offense, it is a fair assessment that the reduction in team chemistry among the Maple Leafs superstars was a major contributing factor to Keefe’s demise.

With the Maple Leafs organization for a decade

Keefe had been with the Maple Leafs organization a significant amount of time. In addition to coaching the Maple Leafs, Keefe coached the Marlies from 2015 to 2019.

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