Randy Carlyle will not be paying the price for the latest collapse by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In fact, the beleaguered head coach received a reward.
After a period of total silence the last few weeks on their coaching staff, the Leafs gave Carlyle a vote of confidence on Thursday afternoon in the form of a two-year contract extension, meaning he is now under contract all the way until 2017.
Carlyle, however, was the only member of the coaching staff to survive the axe, as all three assistant coaches – Dave Farrish, Scott Gordon and Greg Cronin – were let go after the Leafs missed the postseason for the eighth time in the last nine seasons.
Replacements have yet to be named.
According to the team, the moves were made by Leafs GM Dave Nonis “with input and support” from team president Brendan Shanahan, part of a new management hierarchy installed by MLSE president Tim Leiweke last month.
“It was important, after a disappointing end to the season and the arrival of Brendan as team president, to conduct a thorough review of the organization as we continue the work of building a winning tradition and culture for the Maple Leafs,” Nonis said in a statement. “That process started with the head coach, and as we analyzed it, we decided together that Randy Carlyle was the right person to lead this team.
“In Randy, we know that we have a leader who has enjoyed a high level of success as both a player and a coach, including a Stanley Cup championship. It was important that the positives Randy brings to our team were not overshadowed by a finish to the season that we all must take responsibility for.”
That finish involved the Leafs winning only three of their final 16 games, dropping them out of playoff position and all the way to eighth last in the league.
Overall, Toronto has won only 70 of 148 games under Carlyle, who was brought in late in the 2011-12 season after the Leafs similarly collapsed under former coach Ron Wilson