In somewhat big news for the Leafs, there is a new assistant coach vacancy this offseason…
Assistant coach Paul McFarland will depart the club following the conclusion of this 2019-20 NHL season.
He has accepted the position of head coach for the Kingston Frontenacs beginning in the 2020-21 OHL season.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 8, 2020
So yeah, if there’s still hockey to be played in 2019-20, McFarland will still be behind the Leafs bench, but as soon as we start talking about 2020-21, he’s off to Kingston. A team he had previously coached before joining the Florida Panther’s organization.
The move might not be overly surprising as McFarland was brought in to help improve the power play and repeat the success he had in Florida. He didn’t do that. He was brought in to be an assistant to Mike Babcock. Mike Babcock is gone.
Giving Sheldon Keefe the opportunity to have a say on who will be behind the bench with him next season is important, and while it might be months before we see a similar announcement regarding Dave Hakstol, I wouldn’t doubt that the Leafs have a few new faces behind the bench next season.
It will be interesting to see if the Leafs look to the Marlies or the Soo Greyhounds to fill this vacancy.