Since the reality that the Toronto Maple Leafs would continue to employ Sheldon Keefe as the team’s head coach was affirmed earlier this week – a decision I support for several reasons (by the way), it’s been interesting to see the fans’ reactions.

What do they think about Keefe’s continued employment as the Maple Leafs’ head coach?

Related: Maple Leafs Not Signing Free Agents? Too Rich for Their Blood

The Reactions to the Decision to Keep Keefe Are Mixed

The recent decision to retain Keefe as the team’s coach has sparked mixed reactions among the fanbase. I’ve been reading these fans’ reactions as they share their opinions on various platforms – mostly at the end of posts announcing that Keefe would stay. And, there’s no shortage of diverse viewpoints.

In this post, I’ll share some of the range of comments from Maple Leafs’ fans. It’s an interesting dive into how contrasting their thoughts about Keefe’s tenure really are.

Fans’ Point One: Keefe Gets a Fresh Start

Some fans recognized the challenges Keefe faced. They noted that he has never had a playoff-ready team. These fans turned the blame to former GM Kyle Dubas, who they believed had not assembled a roster that had enough grit and physicality to get the job of winning in the postseason done. These fans believed that the new GM, Brad Treliving, would adopt a different philosophy. If this happened, Keefe’s success would follow suit.

Fans’ Point Two: Fans Noted the Uncertainty about Keefe’s Contract Extension

The uncertainty about Keefe’s contract extension raised questions for other fans. They were curious to know whether team management planned to offer him a long-term deal. Would this decision reflect the organization’s desire for stability? Or, would the team desire change?

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Cowan, Matthews, Nylander & Reaves

Fans’ Point Three: What about Seeking New Ideas?

Some fans were skeptical. They expressed a lack of enthusiasm for Keefe’s continuation. They also wondered if he could bring anything fresh and innovative to the team. These fans hoped the organization could find new strategies to elevate the team’s performance.

Fans’ Point Four: What about Big, Tough Reinforcements?

A few fans highlighted a need for big changes in the team’s defensive lineup and overall size and toughness. They believed Treliving’s responsibility now was to acquire big, physical defensemen and forwards to strengthen the team’s competitiveness. They wanted tough!

Fans’ Point Five: Fans Were Frustrated with Regular Season Performance

Interestingly, a similar theme kept rising up. This one has been around as long as I have covered the team. These fans dismissed the Maple Leafs’ regular season as only a money-maker only. They believed that the regular season set them up with hope, but always led to the disappointment that often followed because the Maple Leafs could never live up to their playoff aspirations. They implied that the team’s real test lies in the postseason; and, until the Maple Leafs succeed there, regular-season achievements held little significance.

Fans’ Point Six: Fans Yearned for a Shake-up

Calling for a shake-up, some fans believed that changing the coach was the easiest move to signal a fresh start. However, they cautioned that if the team planned to maintain the same roster and system, their interest in the upcoming season might leave. They simply wanted and felt a need for big changes.

Fans’ Point Seven: Fans Had Differing Opinions About Matthews

It’s always interesting to read fans’ notes. For some, the topic doesn’t matter too much. Instead, it becomes a chance to make a note about their own key interests in the team. Some fans, for example, saw a post about Keefe as a chance to share their views about Auston Matthews. These fans suggested trading Matthews before it was too late. They expressed concern about the impact of Matthews’ significant salary on the team’s salary cap. This perspective always seems to find its way to any conversation about any topic about the team.

Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs

Fans’ Point Eight: Comparing Keefe’s Results

Some fans defended Keefe’s record. They highlighted that he had achieved more wins in the past two seasons than any coach in franchise history. They were pleased that he was not replaced by a coach who might bring poorer results. These fans asked a thought-provoking question: “Who would be the suitable replacement?”

The Bottom Line

The decision to retain coach Keefe met with a variety of different responses from the fans. As the regular season approaches, it remains to be seen how fan thoughts will change depending on the team’s on-ice performance.

Time will tell.

Related: Will Matthews & Nylander Sign for Less to Stay in Toronto?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *