Blog Entry

Randy Carlyle replaces Ron Wilson in Toronto

Posted on: March 2, 2012 8:40 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 10:31 pm

By: Adam Gretz

Toronto fans spent the better part of February demanding it, and on Friday evening the Maple Leafs front office made it happen.

The team announced that head coach Ron Wilson has been fired and will be replaced by former Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. The move comes less than three months after Wilson received a contract extension from the team, and after a stretch of games that has seen the Maple Leafs lose 10 of their past 11, including six in a row, to fall outside of the top-eight in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

“This was not an easy decision for me to make,” said General Manager Brian Burke in a statement released by the team. “I want to thank Ron for all of his hard work and dedication to our organization over the past four seasons.”

During Wilson's four seasons in Toronto the team compiled a record of 130-135-45 and never qualified for the postseason, as the Leafs and their fans continue to ride out what is one of the longest active playoff droughts in the NHL.
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Wilson had been facing mounting criticism in recent weeks for the teams collapse after such a fast start, and "Fire Wilson" chants could be heard throughout the Air Canada Centre during a recent loss to the Florida Panthers. The Maple Leafs visit the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

His firing will be the eighth coaching change in the NHL this season (including Carlyle's dismisal from Anaheim), and of the seven previous changes only one of those teams (the St. Louis Blues) is in what would be a playoff posiiton in the standings as of Friday night.

If nothing else the hiring of Carlyle adds a potential storyline -- and perhaps some awkwardness -- early on due to his history with current Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul.

Anaheim traded Lupul to Toronto last season, when Carlyle was still the coach, and they didn't exactly have the best breakup, dealing him shortly after he returned to the lineup after a serious back injury. Earlier this season, before a meeting between the Leafs and Ducks, Lupul talked about his bitterness toward Anaheim and Carlyle saying, via the Toronto Sun, “I know the opportunity I’m getting in Toronto, I never would have had in Anaheim. Randy Carlyle just did not see me as that type of player.”

Carlyle was the head coach of the 2006-07 Anaheim team that won the Stanley Cup. Burke was also the general manager of that team.

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:06 am

Randy Carlyle replaces Ron Wilson in Toronto

bigDOGG, not sure if he was attempting sarcasm there, or being serious. Hard to tell sometimes.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:04 am

Randy Carlyle replaces Ron Wilson in Toronto

wow dust601, i think your on two many drugs. i can think of one GM that blows Burke out of the water. 
his name;  KEN HOLLAND. oh and how about lombardi in LA, hes pretty good too. your a clown.


Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 6:44 am

Randy Carlyle replaces Ron Wilson in Toronto

Burke is next. Then Carlyle. Then the next GM. It's the most expensive hockey franchise in the NHL. They've been the laughing stock of the league ever since the 90's. They should've made a move to get a young goalie. They should've traded schenn. They need alot. Hurting franchise.

Actually they made the semis 2 years in a row in the early 00's...but either way, they have been brutal for past 8 years. The only significant deal burke has made was beauchemin for lupul and gardiner...that was a fortunate steal...phaneuf, schenn, kessel, komo, army, hell everyone else either overrated or useless. There is no building block for this team. Now with a new head coach, it is really like starting the "re-build" all over again. FML.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2012 5:30 am

Randy Carlyle replaces Ron Wilson in Toronto

Sweat Hog: If they could use a Pat Burns, they could use a Mike Keenan.

Since: Aug 28, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 1:55 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:53 am

Randy Carlyle replaces Ron Wilson in Toronto

Don't you dare question Burke!  He is the greatest GM to have ever lived.  He makes the best moves any Gm has ever made.  It isn't his fault these mere mortals aren't living up to the potential they have.

Since: Apr 29, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:47 am

Randy Carlyle replaces Ron Wilson in Toronto

Time to fire that blow hard Brian Burke. Is there a guy that has talked more and done less as an NHL GM than Burke. As was noted below he won a Stanley Cup with Brian Murray's players. Nice. The move that will forever define him as a GM was giving away the two first round picks (including second overall) and a second round pick to get Phil Kessel. What a tool Burke is. At the time his reasoning was that getting Kessel would make his team that much better that it would be two low first round draft picks and a low second. How wrong he was, and those draft picks turned into gold for the Bruins. Brian Burke is a moron and should have been fired today right along with Ron Wilson. 

Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:42 am

Randy Carlyle replaces Ron Wilson in Toronto

Can anyone esle see the holes in this? It's not just Ron Wilson who needs to go, Burke the most overrated GM in the game has to go. He won on Murray's coat tails as GM in Anaheim, Burke can't build from the ground up, he won with Murray's draft picks and core  players. Look at the Senators now under Murray! The Leafs need to rebuild from the top down however never will because the big cash cow the Leafs don't care about winning as long as the blind fans keep buying merchandise and filling the building. Have fun watching your money make the share holders and NHL rich and the Leafs suck for years to come!

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:39 am

Randy Carlyle replaces Ron Wilson in Toronto

The Caps should fire Hunter and hire Wilson to complete the carousel. That actually might be a good move.

Since: Sep 13, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:36 am

Randy Carlyle replaces Ron Wilson in Toronto

   Burke is the most over-rated GM in hockey (his one Cup in Anaheim was based on the players that Bryan Murray drafted-Perry, Getlaf etc...). This is a last-gasp move by the Leafs who hasn't come close to the playoffs in his 4th season in T.O. As bad as John Fergusen Jr. was he at least had them within one win of the playoffs in 2007. This move won't even address the issue of the serious lack of depth on the club and the rudderless leadership from the owners of the franchise. As a Sens fan, I love it, but it's had to be hard being a Leafs fan for the past 7 years.

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