For the 5th straight time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Toronto Maple Leafs failed to move out of the opening round of competition. The latest disappointment came in the form of a 3-1 loss to the rival Montreal Canadiens in Game 7 of their Round 1 North Division playoff series - and of course, that came on the heels of blowing a 3-1 series advantage.
It's a rather sobering (and almost unbelievable) statistical reality that the Maple Leafs have yet to win a playoff series since the invention of YouTube. The last time they enjoyed playoff success? The rocking Game 7 victory over the Ottawa Senators at the then-named Air Canada Centre in 2004. And management certainly has a long road ahead as they decide of where they can go from here.
Assistant coach Dave Haxtol has already departed to become the 1st head coach in the history of the expansion Seattle Kraken, and the Leafs have found his replacement on Sheldon Keefe's staff.
They've announced the hiring of Dean Chynoweth, who has spent the last three seasons as an assistant with the Carolina Hurricanes under Rod Brind'Amour.
"After spending time with Dean, it became clear that his knowledge, passion and personality would make him the right fit," Keefe said in a statement. "We're fortunate to add someone of his quality and experience to our staff."
As a Maple Leafs fan growing up, it's a natural fit for the 52 year old.
"As someone who grew up in western Canada and watched the Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada every weekend, I'm thrilled to join the team's coaching staff," Chynoweth said in a statement. "I'm very excited for the opportunity to work alongside Sheldon, the rest of the staff and the talented group of players in Toronto."
After playing with the WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers, Chynoweth was drafted with the 13th overall pick of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. He'd eventually go on to appear in 241 games over nine NHL seasons with the Islanders and later with Boston Bruins. At the conclusion of his playing days, he'd gain head coaching experience in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds (2000-04) and then the Swift Current Broncos (2004-09). He'd later serve as an assistant with the Islanders, followed by stints with the AHL's Cleveland Monsters and San Antonio Rampage (2012-16).