You sort of knew this one was coming.
The Toronto Maple Leafs after days of speculation, have fired head coach Ron Wilson Friday night and named Randy Carlyle his replacement effective immediately.
The Maple Leafs have slumped significantly in the Eastern Conference in going 1-8-1 in their last ten games, and sliding out of the playoff picture. They are currently five points back of the eighth place Winnipeg Jets.
At 29-28-7, they have lost four straight and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the seventh straight season.
A major reason for Toronto’s struggles has been their poor defensive coverage and goaltending. Currently Toronto has given up the third most goals in the NHL at 200. Only Columbus (212) and Tampa Bay (216) have given up more goals this season.
In Carlyle, Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke is trying to rekindle the magic of the 2007 Stanley Cup winning Anaheim Ducks, where Burke and Carlyle had their ultimate success.
But if Leaf fans are expecting Burke will repeat success in Toronto like he did in Anaheim and making Vancouver a legitimate contender, they must be running out of patience.
Burke is becoming a lot like Darryl Sutter during his latter stages in Calgary. Now the question is how long will MLSE allow Burke to bring in people he has had success with in the past in an effort to save his job?
On a side note, thank God I’m not a reporter in Toronto. On Christmas Day, Burke had a press conference signing Wilson to a contract extension, only to fire him just over two months later. Many members of the Toronto media were bitter that they had to work Christmas Day, only to see Wilson not even last this season.