Maple Leafs shuffle assistant coaches; Is Ron Wilson on thin ice?

When it comes to following personnel decisions, there are many times when it’s tough not to read between the lines. Perhaps the most famous moment of a press conference telling the exact opposite of the story happened when Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson hammed it up about the coach’s departure when it was clear Jones jettisoned Johnson after a clash of egos.

While it’s not something that the team admitted to, many people are reading between the lines regarding the changes that have been made to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ coaching staff. The team added two new assistant coaches (Scott Gordon and Greg Cronin) while parting ways with two old ones (Keith Acton and Tim Hunter).

Most precisely, people are wondering if head coach Ron Wilson’s job might be in danger. Leafs GM Brian Burke either hasn’t decided to give Wilson a contract extension (Wilson’s deal expires after the 2011-12 season) or wasn’t given the power to do so.

Here is Wilson’s three year run with the Maple Leafs:

2008-09 season: 34-35-13 (81 pts)
2009-10 season: 30-38-14 (74 pts)
2010-11 season: 37-34-11 (85 pts)

On one hand, Toronto made a dramatic (but unsuccessful) late run for a playoff spot in 10-11 and showed some promise along the way. That being said, Wilson is about to enter his fourth season as Toronto’s coach without producing a single playoff run. In fact, the team hasn’t made the playoffs in the post-lockout era and that franchise/fan base isn’t exactly known for its patience. One must wonder if Wilson will be in danger of losing his job if the team has a bad start or misses the postseason once more.

3 Responses to Maple Leafs shuffle assistant coaches; Is Ron Wilson on thin ice?

  1. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    It stands to reason that if Wilson does not come close to the success of the last 1/3 of last season…he will be fired. If the Leafs have a poor start someone will have to be accountable. It will be Wilson or Burke. Depending on what Burke accoplishes in the next month will depend on where blame may be placed but I expect Burke fires Wilson before MLSE fires Burke.

  2. Jets_Back says:

    Good strong additions to the coaching staff. If anything, it gives the bench a different look and voice. Good move by Toronto. I felt Acton seemed to get stale back there and he seemed to be heavily involved in special teams which were among the NHL's worst.

    Not sure too much about Cronin, but, like I said earlier, a different voice may be of big help to the team.

  3. blaze says:

    Really pumped about the additions to coaching stuff. Gordon is a smart hockey guy, don't know anything about Cronin though.

    A shakeup was definitely needed and there is no cap on coaches so might as well spend there too. A fresh look on the bench will look good in the fall and could help insulate Wilson.

    Gotta say I'm hoping for a big summer for the Leafs, it feels like the playoffs are finally in sight. The coaching staff upgrade and the cap going up leaving the Leafs loads to spend feels promising.

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