Maple Leafs hire Craig Berube as head coach

Kyper and Bourne discuss how Craig Berube might handle some of the star players on the Toronto Maple Leafs if he were to be named the new head coach.

One of the big names available on the NHL coaching market is going to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Craig Berube has been named the 32nd coach in team history, the Leafs announced Friday.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman first reported that a deal was close to being done between Toronto and Berube.

Friedman also reported that the Leafs brought Berube to the city last week for an in-person interview. Among other candidates they spoke to were Gerard Gallant and Todd McLellan.

The new Leafs coach will speak to reporters at an introductory press conference on Tuesday.

Berube replaces Sheldon Keefe, who was fired on May 9, less than a week after the club lost Game 7 of the first round in overtime against the Boston Bruins.

Under Keefe, the Leafs achieved great regular-season success, but never made a long playoff run. The club won just one of six playoff series under his watch with the Leafs qualifying for post-season play in all five of his years behind the bench.

Berube, 58, was fired as head coach of the St. Louis Blues last season after the club started 13-14-1.

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Berube was promoted from assistant coach to interim head coach of the Blues in November 2018 after the club fired Mike Yeo. Berube went on to lead the Blues to the Stanley Cup that season, making a leap from last in the league standings.

The interim tag was dropped off Berube’s title after the win. The Blues made the playoffs the next three seasons, but did not get past the second round. 

St. Louis missed the playoffs in 2022-23 before the team made a coaching change this past season.

Berube got his first head coaching job with the Philadelphia Flyers early in the 2013-14 season, replacing Peter Laviolette. Berube previously served as an assistant coach for the Flyers.

The native of Calahoo, Alta., played 1,050 career NHL games for the Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals and New York Islanders after going undrafted.

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