Carlyle has desire ‘to go after some people’

Phil Kessel addresses the media about Ron Wilson’s comments, Carlyle’s firing and assures his confidence on the Maple Leafs’ roster going forward.

Randy Carlyle won’t slam his players as he drives back to Toronto with his walking papers.

The former head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who was relieved of his duties Monday night, gave his first post-firing interview Wednesday to the Toronto Star and spoke at length about his dismissal.

“I’ve got a lot of fire burning in me to go after some people. But I won’t criticize the players. I’ll never do that. The things that happened in the dressing room are between the team and me. I don’t think it should be exposed,” Carlyle told the newspaper while on the road from his hometown of Sudbury, Ont.

“I don’t want this to be personal. This part of the business, it’s an ugly part. It’s a great game, it’s an ugly business. I said that before, when Brian Burke was removed. Now this is my turn, I guess, the gun’s pointed in my direction.”

In the article, Carlyle says he is at peace with Brendan Shanahan and Dave Nonis’s decision. And he admits he sensed he would be fired after the Maple Leafs’ dismal 5-1 loss to a banged up Winnipeg Jets team on Saturday.

“I coached to the last minute. I begged, borrowed and pleaded for a third period response,” Carlyle said. “I did not quit on this hockey team.”

Read the full story here.