The Toronto Maple Leafs announced early Tuesday morning that they have fired coach Randy Carlyle. Assistant coaches Peter Horachek and Steve Spott will take over interim duties.
With the Maple Leafs currently mired in a slump in which they've won only two of their last nine games, Toronto makes the move long after many had thought it would come. Carlyle's coaching has been much-maligned over the past few seasons, and his firing comes on the heels of a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.
“I want to thank Randy for all of his hard work and dedication,” said Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis in a team release. “It’s never an easy decision to make when changing your leadership but our team was not trending in the right direction and we felt an immediate change was necessary.”
What has plagued Toronto under Carlyle has been the Maple Leafs abysmal underlying statistics, something that the team clearly wishes to change. The push for a change of course is made evident not only by the firing of Carlyle but by the team's off-season hiring of a select group of advanced statistics/analytical hockey minds.
Toronto currently sits just one point ahead of the struggling Boston Bruins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and boast a 21-16-3 record, good for fourth in the Atlantic Division.
Over his time with the Maple Leafs, the team has made the post-season only once, in 2012-13, flaming out in game seven of the first round against the Bruins in what has become somewhat of an infamous game for Toronto faithful. Since his hiring by the Maple Leafs on March 2, 2012, Carlyle has a record of 91-78-19.