Is Sheldon Keefe Heading to Toronto?


The Toronto Maple Leafs have multiple coaching vacancies to fill, and all eyes are on Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock. If the Leafs can’t get Babcock, or even if they do, it seems they are doing their research on who else to bring in.

Enter Sheldon Keefe.

Keefe was the head coach of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League this past season where he led the team to a 54-12-12 record, good for the top seed in the entire league. Damien Cox from Sportsnet in Ontario reports that the Leafs could bring in Keefe to be an assistant at the NHL level or coach their American Hockey League club, the Toronto Marlies, in some capacity.

According to NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk, there might be a tie with Keefe and the Maple Leafs. Current Toronto assistant general manager Kyle Dubas hired Keefe as the head coach of the Greyhounds back in 2011.

The Leafs have been in need of a new coach since they fired their entire staff on April 12th. He might not be their head coach, but having Keefe involved with the NHL roster in same way could only be a positive for Toronto. He would bring a winning attitude after a hugely successful season in the OHL.

If he doesn’t join the NHL team, the AHL Marlies are still waiting to hear on their future and there is a chance their entire staff is let go as well, which would open a spot for Keefe possibly as the head coach.

Of course, Toronto is more interested in bringing along Babcock, who might be the most set after free agent in all the NHL at the moment. Along with the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto filed paperwork to speak with Babock. Despite a tumultuous past season, Toronto remains one of the most attractive destinations in the NHL and there is a good possibility he ends up with them.

Yet, the Detroit Red Wings could also retain their coach, or he could head for Buffalo, which means the Leafs need another plan.

With Dubas the acting general manager of the Leafs for the moment, there’s a good chance he brings in his guy. he showed confidence in Keefe before and has only proven himself even more after a great season with the Greyhounds.

Certainly, at the very least, Keefe is a very viable backup option of they swing and miss on bringing Babcock on board.

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