It appears that the Leafs are capable of signing coaches as well as players in this free agent frenzy, adding two members to the Tornoto Marlies’ staff while retaining three others. Headlining the crew is Gord Dineen, who will return to the team as an associate coach.
Dineen was Toronto’s head coach last season, leading the team to a 40-27-0-9 record and a playoff berth despite being at the bottom of the league’s standings at the quarter-way mark of the year. Despite this, Toronto couldn’t resist the possiblity of getting up-and-comer Sheldon Keefe behind the bench as it’s new boss, though they gave Gord the option of remaining with the team in some capacity. After a couple months of deliberation, he chose to stay in the lessened role. This will be his seventh year with the club, having spent the five prior to last as an assistant. Goaltending coach Piero Greco and video coach Ryan Ward will also stick around in their previous roles.
Joining Keefe and Dineen will be 31-year-old A.J. MacLean. MacLean is very raw, having spent just two years coaching high level hockey to date, but those years were spent as Keefe’s assistant in Sault. St. Marie. Also coming with MacLean is Richard Rotenberg. Just a year older, he’s spent four years with the Greyhounds as a Therapist and Strength coach, though he’ll be titled as a “perfromance coach” this time around.
Photo courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com