Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle has received a two-year contract extension.
When Brendan Shanahan was brought aboard as the franchise's new team president last month, it was believed that Carlyle may have been on the hot seat after the Maple Leafs collapsed down the stretch and missed the playoffs for a eighth time in the last nine seasons.
However, Shanahan and general manager Dave Nonis decided to keep Carlyle, who has guided the Leafs for two full seasons after taking over behind the bench on March 2, 2012 when Ron Wilson was fired.
"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," said Nonis in a statement Thursday. "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."
The Leafs reached the playoffs last spring in Carlyle's first full season, but lost in the first round to the Boston Bruins, blowing a 4-1 lead in Game 7. This year's squad was off to a 10-4-0 start through the first month, but a run of eight straight losses to end March led to a 2-12-0 finish that left the Leafs with a mark of 38-36-8.
"I appreciate the support of Brendan, Dave and the entire organization and am looking forward to working with them to get the Maple Leafs back into the playoffs," said Carlyle. "We have a strong foundation here and everyone wants to get back to work to deliver the results that we know this team is capable of."
Carlyle, a former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman, played for the Leafs from 1976-78 and has had success as a head coach. He led the Anaheim Ducks to their lone Stanley Cup title in the spring of 2007 and five playoff appearances in his seven-year tenure.
"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," Nonis added. "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."
While Carlyle will remain, the Leafs did decide to fire assistant coaches Dave Farrish, Scott Gordon and Greg Cronin.