Just when it appeared that things couldn't get much uglier in Toronto, the Maple Leafs have fired head coach Ron Wilson, according to multiple reports.
The Leafs have named Randy Carlyle as Wilson's replacement. The 55-year-old Carlyle coached in Anaheim when current Toronto General Manager Brian Burke was the GM there — the pair won the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Wilson was 130-135-35 during his three-plus seasons with the Leafs but he never made the playoffs.
Toronto is 1-9-1 in their last 11 games and has fallen from playoff contention once again this season, all the way to eleventh place in the Eastern Conference as of Friday night. Should the Leafs fail to qualify, it will be the seventh consecutive season they have missed the playoffs, tying Calgary (1996-97 to 2002-03) as the longest ever drought by a Canadian franchise.
This move was clearly an attempt to spark the team into the playoffs after Burke declined to make any major trades at the deadline. Instead, he swapped prospects with Tampa Bay but stood pat on his NHL roster despite a lack of consistent goaltending.
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The Carlyle era begins for Toronto tomorrow night when they head to Montreal and attempt to stop the free-fall and right the ship for a final push at the playoffs.