Photo Credit: © John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Leafs won’t renew goalie coach Steve Briere’s contract

It appears that a goalie overhaul for the Leafs wasn’t just for the two goalies in the crease, as they have decided to move on from a member of their coaching staff.

Steve Briere’s current contract expires at the end of June and the Leafs opted not to renew it. Chris Johnston reported that the Leafs are going to do an analysis of Briere’s work with the team in addition to finding his replacement.

Having joined the Leafs in July 2015, a mere two months after the team hired Mike Babcock, it has been a mixed bag in the seven years with Briere as the goalie coach. While he played a role in the team having two All-Stars (Frederik Andersen in 2020, Jack Campbell in 2022), it was also mired by a steady decline in team save percentage over the past three seasons.

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2015-16 .904 25th
2016-17 .912 13th
2017-18 .917 5th
2018-19 .908 10th
2019-20 .901 18th
2020-21 .905 15th
2021-22 .900 22nd

There have only been two campaigns where the Leafs had a team save percentage over .910 and have ranked 15th or worse over the past three years. Additionally, Toronto has had the second-best goalie in all six of their playoff series over this six-year stretch of postseason appearances.

The decision to move on from Briere comes at a time when there is uncertainty regarding the goaltending tandem. Campbell is a UFA and has likely priced himself out of a return for next season and beyond. Petr Mrazek has two years remaining on his deal, but all signs point to him being on the move either via a buyout or trade.

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