Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke re-affirmed his loyalty to his head coach on Wednesday, saying Ron Wilson will be back behind the bench next season.
Burke told The Globe and Mail on Wednesday that Wilson has, "done a marvelous job" and would remain behind the bench for 2011-12.
"I said back in the fall, we would not consider a change, even when all the hounds were baying," Burke told The Globe. "I feel the same way now. Ron is coaching this team next year."
Wilson has a year remaining on a four-year contract he signed in 2008, but one of the most winningest coaches in NHL history isn't concerned about contractual matters after next season.
"I'm not worried about anything like that now," Wilson told the paper. "I'm sure it will [take care of itself]. I've got a contract for next year, so beyond that doesn't bother me."
Wilson's tenure in Toronto began with several lengthy losing streaks in his first season and a 29th-place finish a year ago. This year, the team appeared to be heading in the same direction. But since the all-star break, they have been one of the league's hottest teams, going 12-5-4 since Feb. 15 and riding an unexpected playoff run, which may come up short.
Entering Thursday's game against the Boston Bruins, Toronto trails the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres by seven points in the Eastern Conference with just five games to play.