MAPLE LEAFS SIGN HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE TO A MULTI-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brad Treliving have announced that the club has signed Head Coach Sheldon Keefe to a multi-year contract extension.
Keefe, 42, was named the 31st Head Coach in Maple Leafs history on November 20, 2019. Through parts of four seasons with the club (267 regular season games), Keefe has coached the team to a 166-71-30 record to rank him sixth in wins in the franchise’s 105-year history. Under Keefe, Toronto has set franchise records for most wins (54) and points (115) during a single season (2021-22) while also recording consecutive 50-win campaigns over their two most recent seasons. Since joining the Maple Leafs, Toronto has posted a .622 winning percentage under Keefe, ranking them only behind the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes in that span.
“Since I’ve joined the Maple Leafs, I’ve been very impressed with Sheldon,” said General Manager Brad Treliving. “He has shown great leadership skills with his staff and our players, and has a clear vision for this team and where it needs to get to. Sheldon has established himself as one of the top coaches in the league and I look forward to working alongside him as we head into the upcoming season.”
“Coaching this team has been a great privilege, and I’m truly excited at the opportunity to continue building towards our ultimate goal,” said Head Coach Sheldon Keefe. “I’m thankful for the support from MLSE and its ownership along with Brendan Shanahan and Brad Treliving, who I’ve really enjoyed getting to know and work with this off-season. We have so many great players and people within our organization that I’m grateful to work with, and together our commitment to team success remains steadfast.”
Keefe first joined the Maple Leafs organization as Head Coach of the Toronto Marlies (AHL) in June 2015. In parts of five seasons with the Marlies, Keefe led the club to a 199-89-22-9 record in 319 regular season games. In that span, the Marlies won the franchise’s first ever Calder Cup championship in 2018, and they also won the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as AHL regular season champions on two occasions. The team made four consecutive playoff appearances with Keefe at the helm and posted a 38-21 post-season record.
Prior to joining the Marlies, Keefe had a successful three-year stint as head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League. Joining the team as a mid-season coaching replacement in 2012, the Brampton, Ontario native helped lead the Greyhounds back to the playoffs after the team missed the post-season the two previous seasons. In Keefe’s two full seasons with Sault Ste. Marie, the Greyhounds posted a regular season record of 98-29-2-7 while reaching the second round (2013-14) and third round (2014-15) of the playoffs.
Keefe entered the coaching and managerial ranks in 2006 as he served as head coach and general manager of the CCHL’s Pembroke Lumber Kings for seven seasons (2006-07 to mid-season in 2012-13). Keefe led the Lumber Kings to five-consecutive league championships through his first five season with the club (2007-2011) and went on to capture the National Championship in 2011.
As a player, Keefe suited up for 125 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightning after they selected him in the second round (47th overall) of the 1999 NHL Draft. He was named the OHL’s Rookie of the Year with the Barrie Colts in 1998-99 before earning the Eddie Powers Trophy as the league’s top scorer in 1999-2000.