Leafs Clean House on Marlies Coaching Staff

With the amount of changes made across the Leafs organization recently it seemed it was just a matter of the Marlies being eliminated from the playoffs before the focus was going to shift in their direction. Today, the expected changes have been announced…

Despite the late push from the Marlies to make the playoffs, and the apparent buy-in from Gord Dineen on the new front office’s vision, it seemed likely that there is a mandate to get all of the best possible people in their roles as soon as possible, and with the Marlies being critical to what the Leafs are looking to build long term this had to be a priority for Shanahan & Co. 

Dineen in an associate role would essentially make him the new coach’s de facto right hand man, which isn’t something that would be too much of a concern for an incoming AHL coach as they rarely get to hand pick their staff. It is possible with Dineen’s resume, he’d prefer to see what opportunities exist for him elsewhere.

The big question is whether this head coaching availability will be filled by Sheldon Keefe.

This is something the wonderful Justin Fisher discussed on Saturday:

“Considering Keefe’s relationship with Leafs Assistant General Manager Kyle Dubas, who hired Keefe in Sault Ste. Marie, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. I’d be surprised if Keefe was hired on to be an assistant coach as part of a currently non-existent head coach’s staff, so we’re likely going to see Keefe take over the Marlies coaching duties from Gord Dineen.”

While I’m certainly there will be some other candidates considered, this seems like a perfect fit, though the triumphant return to Dallas Eakins to the Marlies bench may also be worth considering. I’d also hope that the coach hired at the AHL level has a style similar to the coach that will be brought in at the NHL, and perhaps it’s best to have a new GM in place before any of the decisions are made.

I’m sure we’ll have much more on this on The Leafs Nation as the number of postings in MLSE’s job bank continues to grow.

UPDATES

No real surprise here. 

This isn’t a bad thing either as it puts Dineen back in his wheelhouse.