Major update in the Craig Berube to Toronto rumors on the day Sheldon Keefe is fired
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Major update in the Craig Berube to Toronto rumors on the day Sheldon Keefe is fired

Keefe is out... is Berube in for the Leafs?

Trevor Connors

This just in, the Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Sheldon Keefe.

The team made the announcement on social media this morning.

Check it out:

The team's official press release announcement:

Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brad Treliving today announced that Sheldon Keefe has been relieved of his role as head coach. The organization will immediately begin the search for a new head coach, and decisions regarding the remainder of the coaching staff will follow.

“Today’s decision was difficult. Sheldon is an excellent coach and a great man; however, we determined a new voice is needed to help the team push through to reach our ultimate goal. We thank Sheldon for his hard work and dedication to the organization over the last nine years, and wish him and his family all the very best.”

Keefe coached the Maple Leafs to a 212-97-40 record in 349 regular season games. The club recorded three consecutive 100-point seasons under Keefe, including a team-record 115-point season in 2021-22. Keefe was also at the helm of the Toronto Marlies (AHL) for five seasons, during which the team won the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL’s top regular season team on two occasions and the franchise’s first Calder Cup Championship in 2018.

Keefe has two years remaining on a contract extension that hasn't even begun yet. It was an extension given to him by GM Brad Treliving last offseason after Treliving elected to not make any major changes to his team's coaching staff. Now, less than 12 months later though and Treliving is having to make the changes that fans and analysts thought were coming last offseason. Suffice it to say, it looks like Treliving and his management staff will be busy this offseason in remolding their team's personnel both on and off the ice.

There were rumors earlier this week that the Leafs may have already engaged in talks with former St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube. You may recall that Berube was on TNT's broadcast the other night when TNT co-host Paul Bissonnette made a chirp to Berube about being the Leafs' next coach and... well... Berube's reaction was interesting to say the least.

Berube basically sat there in stunned astonishment and didn't say a word. This led Leafs fans online to rush to the conclusion that he'd be hired once Keefe was officially fired.

Flash forward to today and Keefe is officially out, but now Spittin' Chiclets producer and co-host Mike Grinnell is headed to the New Jersey Devils to fill their coaching vacancy.

From Grinnell:

Honestly, I think Berube is exactly what this team needs. A no-nonsense coach with a history of getting it done at crunch time. We'll have to wait and see how things play out over the coming days and weeks.

As for Keefe, it remains to be seen what happens with him next. With an impressive 212-97-40 record in the regular season, it's clear that he's a quality head coach. His time in Toronto was over though, as it was clear that this team needs a new direction and a fresh voice.

Source: Mike Grinnell