In the often turbulent world of NHL hockey, it’s easy for a coach to go from zero to hero in a short space of time. It’s also one of the main reasons why, when a new coach comes in, there is a natural and immediate optimism as to what will come next for the clubs involved. That’s why the news that Sheldon Keefe will be taking over at the Maple Leafs was such exciting news.
Announced on Wednesday, the move has been confirmed – and there is plenty of positivity going around about the appointment. According to the Toronto American Hockey League team, who he had coached beforehand, there is massive opportunity for the coach to make a big impression on the job.
He’s replacing the coach Mike Babcock, who was fired after a shocking run of 0-5-1. This will see the coach replaced but with the caveat that he’s not all to blame for the issues at Toronto. All it takes, though, is the right guy. Speaking to NHL.com, forward Jeremy Bracco said: “You’d go through a wall for a guy like that.
“He’s got his players’ backs and he’s a lot of fun to be around at the rink. A head coach has to be serious at times, but he likes to keep it light as well. He’s an honest guy, he’s a players’ coach and I’m sure the guys up there will love him.”
There sure is some optimism in the air around this appointment, then. Make no mistake: this could be one of the most interesting appointments to take place in the NHL for some time. Young, bright, and effervescent coaches often go down well in the NHL; if he can command the dressing room, he’ll be a hit.