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Maple Leafs fire head coach Sheldon Keefe after five seasons

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are making a change following their opening-round playoff exit. The team has fired head coach Sheldon Keefe after five seasons, according to an announcement on Thursday.

Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving stated that the franchise will immediately begin searching for a new head coach.

“Today’s decision was difficult,” the team said in a statement. “Sheldon is an excellent coach and a great man; however, we determined a new voice is needed to help the team push through to reach our ultimate goal. We thank Sheldon for his hard work and dedication to the organization over the last nine years, and wish him and his family all the very best.”

Keefe put together a 212-97-40 record in 349 regular-season games with Toronto. The Maple Leafs had recorded 100-point campaigns in each of the last three seasons, including registering a franchise record 115 points in 2021-22.

Prior to his arrival with the Maple Leafs, Keefe served as the head coach of the team’s AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, for five seasons. He led the Marlies to their first Calder Cup in team history back in 2018.

The Maple Leafs tallied a 46-26-10 record (102 points) during the 2023-24 regular season and finished in third place in the Atlantic Division behind the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins. Toronto was eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the opening round this past weekend when the Bruins outlasted the Maple Leafs in seven games.

Toronto has registered just one series victory since the 2003-04 season, which came when they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2023 postseason.

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