In what will be seen as a move that had to be made, the Leafs didn’t just not #FireCarlyle, they decided to #ExtendCarlyle for two more seasons beyond 2014-15.
At first I was a bit surprised, but after some thought, it makes sense – how could you not extend a coach that led his team to the highest shots against total of all time? How could you fire a coach that makes every single player on his team worse? How could you not trust your talented players under the leadership of a guy that thinks that helmets cause concussions? And most importantly – how could you not listen to a guy that found his team’s collapse “mindboggling” and his team’s lack of compete “confusing” (after having a month off to think about it) and just want to make sure he sticks around for a bit longer? I know I don’t want a guy that has the answers.
All I know is that this choice really makes sense in the grand scheme of things. Carlyle really has built an identity for the Leafs during his tenure here. Sure, it’s an identity that is about being outshot and playing in your own end most of the game, but it’s an identity all the same.
Extending him also speaks to what this organization has been preaching for the last two years – accountability. And who should we hold accountable? Certainly not the coach or management, who had the chance to ice their team of choice and are all equally responsible for spending to the cap ceiling. No, it’s the assistant coaches, 2013-14 season saver James Reimer, and good young players like Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner that have to be held accountable for their actions. Don’t Kadri and Gardiner know that being good and scoring is completely reprehensible?
“General Manager” Dave Nonis said that this is the first step in reshaping this team. And quite a first step it is. Now they can move onto more important things like re-signing Dave Bolland long-term, and take a look at potential UFAs Brooks Orpik, Shawn Thornton, and Steve Ott to fill out the roster.
Full speed ahead!