Firing Randy Carlyle Is Toronto Maple Leafs’ Latest Step Toward True Improvement

January 6th, 2015 by Dave Lozo Leave a reply »

The Toronto Maple Leafs are...learning?

The firing of coach Randy Carlyle on Tuesday morning is the latest evidence that the Leafs organization has become sentient, the first step required before any robotic mechanism can rule humankind.

The Leafs have a long way to go—they are still not a good team, no matter who is coaching—but the past six months present evidence that the team is willing to make meaningful changes, something that was absent last season.

It started during the summer, when team president Brendan Shanahan blew into a conch-shaped calculator and assembled an analytics team and hired stats-driven assistant general manager Kyle Dubas. The signings of forwards Mike Santorelli, Daniel Winnik and David Booth showed that Shanahan and his crew were looking for possession players for the bottom six, not face-punchers who brought nothing to the table in their seven minutes of ice time.

Despite the changes, very little...well...changed. 

Through 40 games last season, the Leafs were 19-16-5 and statistically worse than this year’s club. Yet the organization hung its hat o ...

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