Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle told reporters Thursday "it's just another year" when asked about whether he was feeling any added pressure for the upcoming season.
Carlyle faced questions about his job security last season as Toronto went 2-12 in its last 14 games and missed the playoffs for the eighth time in the past nine seasons. The team signed him to a two-year contract extension in May, but three assistant coaches were not retained.
The 58-year-old said Thursday "we have to change", and that attempts to get the Maple Leafs to play more of a puck-possession game last season were derailed, in his view, by injuries and suspensions.
"It’s just another year as far as I’m concerned," said Carlyle, in an extended meeting with the press. "I have a job to do. I have an opportunity to change this group, to earn the respect back for this hockey club."
Carlyle became Toronto's coach late in the 2012 season and has gone 70-62-16 in his time with the team, including a playoff appearance in the strike-shortened 2012-13 season.
Before joining the Maple Leafs, Carlyle coached the Anaheim Ducks for six-plus seasons, leading the team to a Stanley Cup championship and five total playoff appearances before he was fired in 2011.
Toronto reported to training camp on Thursday.
- Ben Estes