(TORONTO, ON) – David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced this morning that head coach Randy Carlyle has been relieved of his duties. Assistant coaches Peter Horachek and Steve Spott will handle coaching duties for the club’s next game, Wednesday night when the Leafs host the Washington Capitals.
The Leafs (21-16-3) are fourth in the Atlantic Division with 45 points, one point ahead of the Boston Bruins for the second Eastern Conference wild-card berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I want to thank Randy for all of his hard work and dedication,” said Nonis. “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.”
Hired by the Maple Leafs on March 2, 2012, Carlyle compiled a record of 91-78-19 in 188 games behind the Maple Leafs’ bench. The 58 year-old holds a career NHL coaching record of 364-260-80 in 704 games between the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto.
“On behalf of the whole organization we wish [Carlyle] well going forward,” Nonis told the assembled media at the Air Canada Centre. “He’s a good man and a good coach and he’ll be back in this game quickly.”
Nonis described Leafs play this year as inconsistent and it was a contributing factor to Carlyle’s release. He felt that at this point in the season, the club couldn’t afford to continue to wait for the expected results. Nonis also said the Leafs play during the season wasn’t all down to Carlyle.
“Earlier in the season we had some pretty good stretches where we thought we were going to be the consistent team we wanted to be. That didn’t happen and we couldn’t wait longer,” he said. “At this point we felt we needed to make this change. It’s not that they can’t do it, it’s that our consistency hasn’t been there. The coach is easy to let go, that’s the easy change to make – we all have to take responsibility, the players included.”
Horachek and Spott will handle the next game behind the bench for the Leafs, but Nonis says that, over the next couple of days, the organization will be looking at the coaching duties and designing a plan from there.
“Beyond that we haven’t made any decisions,” Nonis said.