The winds of change have finally arrived in Toronto. It was announced earlier that the Toronto Maple Leafs have relieved Head Coach Ron Wilson of his duties, effective immediately. Wilson, who has spent the last four seasons in Toronto, exits after signing a 1-year contract extension this past December. The Toronto media and the rest of Leaf Nation have been calling for Wilson’s head for quite some time now. In his time with the Leafs, Wilson posted a 130-135-45 record.
The team is quickly fading in the Eastern Conference standings. They currently sit in 12th place, behind Washington, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo with 65 points. In addition to their active 4 game losing streak, they have only won once in their last 11 games. Quick glances at the stat sheet will tell you that the Leafs currently sit near the bottom of the goals against category, with a 3.08. The numbers will also tell you that the club sits in the middle of the pack when it comes to 5 vs. 5 scoring.
In the same announcement, the Leafs stated that they have hired former Ducks coach, Randy Carlyle to replace Wilson. As you may recall, Carlyle lost the Ducks head coaching position earlier in the year after not being able to lead the club to a good start. General Manager Brian Burke hopes that Carlyle will find the same magic he had in 2007, when the Burke-Carlyle combination led the Anaheim Ducks to their first Stanley Cup in team history.
If there is a silver lining in the coaching change, it is that the team will pretty much stay the same beyond this season. Apart from Mikhail Grabovski and Jonas Gustavsson, the big pieces of this roster will be able to grow with Carlyle. If the team can make the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the front office would be ecstatic. However, with this coaching change, you would have to imagine that Burke is preparing for the 2012-2013 season.