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Maple Leafs name Craig Berube as head coach, reportedly signed for 4 years

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Photo credit:© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Arun Srinivasan
1 month ago
Craig Berube has been officially announced as the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team confirmed Friday afternoon. Berube will be introduced formally on Tuesday morning during a press conference at the team’s practice facility.
 
Berube signed a four-year contract with the Maple Leafs, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.
Berube will become the 32nd head coach in Maple Leafs history — and the 41st in franchise history, succeeding Sheldon Keefe, who was fired after five seasons on May 9. Keefe posted a .665 winning percentage cumulatively during the regular season and Berube will be expected to win immediately with a group led by Rocket Richard winner Auston Matthews and perennial 40-goal man William Nylander.
 
Marc Savard is expected to join Berube’s coaching staff, according to Nation Network’s Nick Alberga. Savard is currently an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames and is best known for his playing career, where he recorded 207 goals and 706 points in 807 games. He remains under contract with the Flames at the time of this filing.
The 58-year-old is best known for leading the St. Louis Blues to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history during the 2019 season. Berube engineered a dramatic midseason turnaround for the Blues, who went from worst to first over the course of their championship campaign. He posted a 206-132-44 cumulative mark with the Blues. Prior to joining the Blues, Berube coached the Philadelphia Flyers for two seasons before being dismissed in April 2015.
Berube also played 1,054 games over 17 seasons withPhiladelphia, Toronto, Calgary, Washington and the New York Islanders.
 
St. Louis fired Berube on December 12, 2023 after the team stumbled to a 13-14-1 record and he was replaced by Drew Bannister.

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Berube is known for his motivational tactics and implementing a defensively-sound style of play, which could be beneficial for a Maple Leafs team that too often was characterized as a scorching offense that hemorrhaged goals. Keefe’s fatal flaw in 2024 was overcorrecting his team’s nominal style, eschewing offense for defense in vain through the latter parts of the first-round loss to the Bruins. Berube will be tasked with fixing the team’s broken penalty kill among the first orders of business, while striking the right balance between offensive inventiveness and defensive responsibility.
Berube was widely reported to be the Maple Leafs’ top candidate throughout the process. Gerard Gallant and Todd McLellan also interviewed for the position, but the Maple Leafs worked tirelessly to get their preferred choice. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that McLellan interviewed with the Maple Leafs on Monday and Tuesday.
It’s unclear to what extent Berube will oversee the team’s next roster moves — including a potentially seismic deal involving Mitch Marner — but he’ll be involved with discussions alongside Brad Treliving and Brendan Shanahan to oversee the next era in Maple Leafs history. Berube’s pedigree as a proven winner was certainly appealing and if he’s the man to bring the Maple Leafs their first Stanley Cup since 1967, he has the chance to become deified like few others in civic history.

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