Thankfully, It's over

What an awful, awful, awful, awful, awful 2014-15 season that was for our Leafs.

So little passion, so little skill, so little entertainment... For the first time I can remember, I stopped tuning in. It's never been this bad, this early. But there are a few positives from this horrific season.

We Fired Randy Carlyle
He wasn't a very good coach and we finally parted ways. Sure, things were worse with the replacement coach whose name I never bothered to learn (just kidding... his name is Peter Horachek and he's getting fired Monday), but Carlyle still had to go.

We Traded David Clarkson
Yes, that actually happened. We managed to trade the untradeable. That was very, very good.

We Finally Learned How To Lose Right
I was so sick of the Leafs finishing somewhere between playoffs and draft lottery. That was our specialty, finishing 9th or 10th in the conference. Finally, in a deep draft year in which we own our own first round pick, we figured out how to suck properly and will draft no worse than fifth.

Ok, there's one other positive takeaway from the 2014-15 Leafs season...

It's over.

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Comments (31 - click here to join in!)

Patty Burns

Randy Carlyle is a better coach than given credit for.

April 12, 2015 @ 7:42 AM

elvis

I can't think of another professional sports team that fired two head coaches in a single season. Any one else? Pretty dubious stat.

April 12, 2015 @ 8:18 AM

Gary

You are wrong on your first point, Mike. I don't think Randy Carlyle was a bad coach. He knew what he had and tried to get what he could out of them.

April 12, 2015 @ 8:40 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Gary

IMHO, Randy Carlyle wasn't a very good coach and had to go. I'm glad he's gone.

April 12, 2015 @ 9:20 AM

Handsome Rob

I agree with Patty and Gary. Carlyl was a good coach, and up until his firing the Leafs were in the playoffs. I think had he stuck around they would have been in or just outside the playoffs by a point or two.

I'm glad it's over. Unless they win McDavid, I don't know if I'll have much interest in them next year. Don't care to watch a rebuild team lose 70 percent of their games.

(Can't believe I'm typing this....).
How about those Sens? Pretty impressive hockey over the last 20 games of the season. If this hamburgler bubble busts though they won't go far in the playoffs. I wouldn't want to be MTL this round.

April 12, 2015 @ 9:41 AM

Speysidephil

If it has to be a choice between the Habs and the Sens then I guess I'll hôld my nose and cheer for the Sens. But I tell Ya it hurts to say that.

April 12, 2015 @ 9:46 AM

Douglas

For nearly 40 years now (a sizable majority of my life), I have not been a Losers Leafs fan. Still, I go along with Patty and Gary, too. Carlisle was, and still is, a good coach. He is just another in the horribly long list of personnel who, no matter how good they really were/are, were ruined by the Blue and White organization. He is nowhere from being the last, either.

They've got their work cut for them, but as I cheered as a boy from 1972 and even after I moved here:
GO JETS GO!.....GO JETS GO!!.....GO JETS GO!!!

April 12, 2015 @ 11:13 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

If Randy is a good coach in this era, I'm sure he'll have another head coaching job in no time.

April 12, 2015 @ 11:17 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Dave Nonis has been fired, as has Peter Horachek.

Both are smart moves by Shanahan.

April 12, 2015 @ 11:54 AM

Handsome Rob

And three assistant coaches....

WOW. Wasn't expecting anything until Monday at the earliest.

April 12, 2015 @ 12:19 PM

GUNTer

so glad nonis is gone. horacheck was given a bum deal in my opinion.
im hopeful for next season, but I always am.

April 12, 2015 @ 12:40 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Going to cost MLSE big bucks to draw good coaching talent, given the uncoachable current players. MLSE is lucky to have deep pockets to be able to weather these poor decisions over the years.
Won't expect any improvement for a few seasons now.

April 12, 2015 @ 12:46 PM

dale

Shanny starting from Ground Zero. Most of scouting staff let go today & others working in corporate capacity also.

Laffs look like an expansion team next year & also moving forward.

April 12, 2015 @ 5:18 PM

andrew

Ted Nolan fired in Buffalo.

Go for it Shanahan.

April 12, 2015 @ 8:45 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@andrew

Think bigger.

April 12, 2015 @ 8:52 PM

Handsome Rob

My monies on Babcock being the next Leafs coach. Maybe even GM/coach.

Really poor choice on Buffalo letting Nolan go.

April 12, 2015 @ 11:31 PM

H

I have to agree with a few others on here. Carlyle was not a bad coach. He is a very good coach. The team just didn't respond to anyone but did respond better to him even if they didn't like him.

I don't like hearing of people getting fired, but the depth of these firings at MLSE could be a good sign that the whole thing needs to be rebooted.

April 13, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

Anonymous

I think Carlyle was ok. He's fine as a coach in this "era", In his 6 full years in Anaheim he won a Cup and only once missed the playoffs. Every team was +.500 (actually I think his career win % is higher than any other Leaf coach in the past 30 years - which includes Burns and Pat Quinn). I can appreciate the firing of the coach to send a message, but I don't think it's fair to describe him as a bad coach. I don't think the statistics support that. The assistants that were brought in this year weren't his choices (Nonis/Shanahan) and we saw how that worked out. You could also say he wasn't the right fit for such a young team, but I fail to see how that is his fault as I see it as another GM/Management issue (both thinking they were further along, having to rush young players into lineups, etc). He's also 60 years old though, so his hiring opportunities have to start getting more limited.

The Leafs are probably 2 years away from having an exciting team (Good draft pick that hopefully pans out, Nylander moving up, Reilly maturing, the pieces they get from dismantling the current roster). Not saying they will be a Cup contender, but at least they should have a good, young, competitive nucleus which should make for entertaining hockey.

April 13, 2015 @ 11:44 AM

Mel Preston

I am optimistic things will be done the right way by Shanahan. Its all Leafs fans have, hope. This purge wasn't about a bad season or two but about a bad era in Leafs hockey. The last 10 years have been dreadful. There should be way better prospects in the system with a team that hasn't consistently made the playoffs in the past decade.

As Horachek said in his last post game conference: "They shouldn't be thinking about putting together a team that just competes for a playoff position. But instead thinking much bigger. A team that consistently competes for a championship."

It may take a while but hopefully there'll be a payoff for us die hard Leaf fans.

April 13, 2015 @ 11:54 AM

Mrmojorisinca

Carlyle was a bad coach for this team..
as was Wilson...they should have given Eakins a shot after Wilson..Carlyle will work again..maybe in Boston..
no candidates come to mind (Los Angeles King exec Mike Futa from what I have read sounds like a good idea assuming he can and is interested) but I think a coach and or gm need to be less high profile but have some experience and most of all be on the same page as the guys who are running the leafs..

April 13, 2015 @ 11:56 AM

Anonymous

Curious who will be content to be bottom half of the league for the next 2-5 years? And yet be in the Toronto pressure cooker? And of course they need to be available? If Babcock is going to leave Detroit, he's just as likely to go somewhere like Pittsburgh as Toronto. I'm sure there is some AHL or NHL assistant that can come in, just saying I'm not sure who it is and would be surprised to see Toronto get the pedigree which most people are describing. More likely to be sold as a rebuild and try to succeed with someone fresh, new, innovative.

Eakins was a joke in Edmonton. He was exposed as not being ready to coach at the NHL level. He had no respect in the dressing room with the Oilers and would have had even less here with this group.

April 13, 2015 @ 1:41 PM

andrew

Is Scotty Bowman available??

April 13, 2015 @ 1:45 PM

Mel Preston

That was one of the better press conferences I have heard from a Leaf executive.

"The day to day plan may change, but the vision has to be consistent and you have to stick to the vision"

"It'll take as long as it takes. You have to have the stomach to see it through"

"The leadership group here wasn't good enough"

"You need people who want to play here. Who like the pressure of being a Leaf"

"This team may have the same amount of points next year as they did this year. But they will play hard and fans will know the effort was there. There will be no one giving half assed efforts"

I'm optimistic and I'm going to give him a chance to make more moves this summer before I have a final read. But it did appear like he said all the right things today.

April 13, 2015 @ 2:54 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I watched Shanahan's presser. There was a refreshing lack of BS. He was a straight shooter, and sensible and he nailed the problem in this city. It's not coming up with a plan, it's sticking with the plan.

April 13, 2015 @ 2:58 PM

dale

I watched it too.
Loved when he said we have leaders are NOT DOING their jobs.
Goodbye Kessel & Phaneuf.

April 13, 2015 @ 4:04 PM

Anonymous

Honestly if you want your team to ever be good, you need to build from the draft. Toronto fans and media need to suppress their need to "go for it" each year because it's caused your management to do some very dumb things.
1) Trade Rask for Raycroft.
2) Trade Seguin and lots of other picks for Kessel (does the fanbase actually FINALLY recognize how stupid this trade was?).
3) Signed Phaneuf for elite defenseman money for too long. Clarkson.

Toronto's wounds are self inflicted.

It's not hard to see that several ex-Leafs have found success in other organizations. I wonder why? It's because the fan base and media are jerks and they need to stop and get some class. I know this is impossible, but it's one of the reasons why it's hard to perform here, especially for goalies. Your best goalie was Belfour because he basically told the media and fans to "F off" every few games. Hopefully your fan base can at least embrace the rebuild and enjoy watching your young players improve.

Look, you are going to suck for at least another 4 years. But there's light at the end of the tunnel (unless your scouts are completely incompetent and your farm team can't develop players).

So this might be painful, but it's for the best and should have happened years ago. Instead you've been trapped in the land of mediocrity. Good luck.

April 14, 2015 @ 2:55 PM

Argie

Agree with the comments re: Shanahan's assessment of the situation but I have to wonder if he had made these changes shortly after getting the job, if things would have been different. Why take almost a year to judge the crappy performance of Carlyle and Nonis, and the others?

The other question is what kind of GM and coach are they going to get considering the team is going to suck for a few years and Shanahan has his "guys" Hunter and Dubas already. It seems like a situation a proven winning GM like a Chiarelli or Shero would stay away from.

My third point is that the leafs will always have difficulty getting top line free agents. Not just because they suck, but also because most players (especially the Canadian ones) don't want to return to Canada. Once they move to the US, the tax situation, private health and private schools make it seem like Toronto and other Cdn cities are third world. If you doubt me, ask yourself when was the last time a Canadian team signed a star free agent???

April 14, 2015 @ 3:52 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Argie

The Canucks landed Mark Messier in '97.

April 14, 2015 @ 8:18 PM

Argie

A 36 year old Messier. That was 18 years ago as we'll.

April 14, 2015 @ 8:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Argie

I know, but the thing is, the superstars don't make it to free agency much anymore.

The Pens drafted Crosby and Malkin, Chicago drafted Toews and Kane, the Caps drafted Ovechkin, the Preds drafted Weber, and so on...

But yes, when a big name does sign elsewhere as a free agent, be it Brad Richards or Ryan Suter, he typically signs with a US team.

April 14, 2015 @ 9:07 PM

Mel Preston

I think the 'proven winner' GM's is a bit over blown. Burke was a proven winner too. Can you name any great moves Shero did besides having the good fortune to draft Crosby and Malkin. And even with those 2 plus Letang, Fleury, etc - they only won 1 Cup. Chiarelli had the good fortune of Tim Thomas falling into his lap and signing Chara. Not saying they aren't good GM's, just saying I'm not too concerned if Leafs don't gat a 'name' GM this time around.

Also they may not suck for that long. All you need is a hot goalie. Look at Hammond in Ottawa, that team is rebuilding and a hot goalie saved their season. Same with Dubnyk in Minnesota. Pavalek in Winnipeg.

As I am typing this Bruins just fired Chiarelli.

April 15, 2015 @ 11:03 AM

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