3 Top Candidates for Next Maple Leafs Head Coach

Now that the first major shoe to drop on the Toronto Maple Leafs has come down—the firing of head coach Sheldon Keefe—the next major move is well underway: the search for a new bench boss. We've already heard rumors of potential replacements. 

Here, a look at three of the top candidates to take on one of the hottest seats in hockey, coaching the Leafs:

Craig Berube

The name of the former St. Louis Blues' Stanley Cup-winning head coach has been buzzing around Leafs Nation ever since the season came crashing down last weekend in a 7-game defeat to the Boston Bruins. He is seen as the frontrunner.

Berube's hard-nosed approach should do wonders to whip the underachieving Leafs into shape, and he is anxious to get back behind a bench after the Blues parted ways with him earlier this season. The 58-year-old however, is doing the same type of due diligence that the Toronto front office will be doing: 

“I want to make sure I’m going to a good organization,” he told The Athletic in December. “You want to work with good people, and you always want an opportunity to win. I want to coach, but I want to make sure that it’s the right situation.”

Bérubé has a career .584 winning percentage as a head coach (281-190-72). 

Gerard Gallant

Gallant last coached with the New York Rangers in the 2022-23 season, but was fired despite a 47-22-13 record that year after the Blueshirts were eliminated in the first round. Gallant has made it to one Stanley Cup Final, doing a miraculous job with the "Golden Misfits" in 2017-18. 

Gallant has a Jack Adams Award as top coach in the league, and a .576 winning percentage. 

Rod Brind'Amour

Wait, doesn't Brind'Amour still have a job? Yes, the Carolina Hurricanes head coach is still busy in this year's playoffs, but many eyebrows have been raised that an extension has not been signed yet, with Brind'Amour in the final year of his contract. Both parties have shrugged off that talk, but this would be a tremendous coup for the Leafs if they could convince the former Jack Adams winner to come on board. And they certainly have the backing to outbid the Hurricanes, if it comes down to that.

There are plenty of other notable names tied to the Leafs job, including Jay Woodcroft, Todd McClellan, Bruce Boudreau and many more. 

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