Sheldon Keefe Issues Statement After Being Fired by Maple Leafs

Sheldon Keefe

Getty Sheldon Keefe issues statement after being fired by the Maple Leafs.

Sheldon Keefe has released a video statement following the Toronto Maple Leafs firing him as head coach on May 9.

The Maple Leafs made the announcement after Toronto was eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Boston Bruins. Following the announcement, Keefe took to social media to share his thanks.

“Leafs Nation, (my) time has come to say goodbye. Writing down a note and sending it out didn’t seem like enough. I do plan on taking a little break from media, so here I am. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s a dream come true for a boy from Brampton. I want to thank Kyle Dubas, Lou Lamoriello, Brad Treliving, Brandon Pridham, Brandon Shanhan, Larry Tanenbaum, and the MLSE board for giving me this opportunity to work with the Marlies and Leafs,” Keefe said.

Keefe also took the blame for the lack of playoff success in Toronto in his tenure as Toronto had just one series win in his five years.

“I didn’t get it done in the playoffs, I didn’t help push our team over the line and deliver. I accept responsibility for that, no excuses. That’s the job and I didn’t get it done. It’s a reality of the business and I accept it. To the players, I appreciate all your efforts, your talents, and your work ethic made me look good on a lot of nights. Anyone who suited up for Blue and White, I appreciate you,” Keefe added.

Toronto didn’t name a replacement head coach but in the statement, the team said they needed a new voice.

“Today’s decision was difficult. 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,” GM Brad Treliving said in a statement.

As the head coach of the Maple Leafs, Keefe went 212-97-40.

Keefe Uncertain What’s Next

Keefe had two years left on his contract at the time of his firing, but will now be eligible to take another coaching job in the NHL.

The 43-year-old has proven he can lead a team to regular season success in the NHL, but the head coach isn’t sure what comes next for him.

“I don’t know what comes next, but I know I will be ready for it,” Keefe concluded.

The Maple Leafs was Keefe’s first head coaching job in the NHL. Whether or not he will get hired to be a head coach next season is uncertain.

Keefe Says Maple Leafs Fans Deserve a Stanley Cup

Although Keefe won’t be the head coach of the Maple Leafs anymore, he is appreciative of the fans.

In his statement, Keefe told Toronto fans they deserve a Stanley Cup. He also thanked them for all the support over the years.

“Leafs Nation, you deserve your Stanley Cup. Your passion at home and on the road is unmatched. It’s an incredible honor to coach the Maple Leafs to try and deliver for you,” Keefe said.

The Maple Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967, which is the longest Cup drought in NHL history.

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