Sheldon Keefe reportedly can crack down on Leafs players

A shorter leash?



The Toronto Maple Leafs and new general manager Brad Treliving made the call to re-sign head coach Sheldon Keefe beyond the one year remaining on his current contract; he'll now be behind the bench for the Leafs for the next several seasons. 

But if the Leafs are to enjoy sustained postseason success, does there need to be a chance in coaching style? While there have been reports that Keefe is allegedly seen as a softer head coach, Treliving is now implying that Keefe is going to be able to crack down on his players more openly. 

"The ultimate job of the coach is to maximize the performance of the individual and therefore the performance of the team," Treliving said. "And there's different ways to do it. Some days aren't all rainbows and lollipops. This is a hard business, and it's a hard league. And to do great things is difficult, and you have to push people out of their comfort zone. So I think there's always ways that you can push players."

"You want to be careful, I've always felt that the hardest conversations are usually best handled behind closed doors. And I don't think a player needs to be admonished publicly to understand if there's something that the coach feels he needs to get better at.

Having said that, it's an emotional game. Things happen. I'm sure there's going to be emotional times this year... When you live in this business and you work in it and this is what you do and you're invested the way everybody is invested, sometimes there's an emotional shrapnel that comes up.

I haven't been through it in Toronto. I'm sure it flies right under the radar in Toronto, and nothing ever gets printed. And there's no headlines for it, I'm sure. But what I found out is, nine times out of 10, that's just a little bit of noise and emotion. You certainly don't want that every day. But to think that you're not going to have some of that every once in a while, we're probably kidding ourselves. But I think you handle your business as men behind closed doors, face to face, and I'm sure that's how a lot of it will be handled moving forward."

Since replacing Mike Babcock in November of 2019, Keefe has amassed a total record of 166-71-30. His record in the postseason is 13-17.