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Extension for Leafs' Carlyle has team option in final year

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TSN.ca Staff with files from Canadian Press
5/9/2014 11:56:15 AM
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While the Toronto Maple Leafs signed head coach Randy Carlyle to a two-year extension on Thursday, the contract includes a team option for the final year.

Carlyle had one year left on his existing deal, meaning his new contract runs through the 2016-17 season.

"Leafs are not locked into Carlyle. If things don't work out, he's gone next year or year after," tweeted TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger.

Carlyle's assistants Dave Farrish, Greg Cronin and Scott Gordon were not retained for next season.

"We feel that this group can continue to grow into a higher level of a hockey club," said Carlyle during a conference all on Thursday. "We just have to find and continue to push for a little bit more from the individuals and we are going to do everything we possibly can to change some of the things that are happening with our group."

The Maple Leafs started the 2013-14 season on a 10-4-0 run, but Carlyle worried at the time that his team was getting away with sloppy play in the defensive zone.

Going into and coming out of the Olympic break, the Leafs were rolling despite being badly outshot on most nights. When they beat the Kings in Los Angeles on March 13, they were in second place in the division.

But starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier aggravated a groin injury that night, and though it was not considered serious at the time, it proved to be devastating.

James Reimer lost five straight games and was pulled March 23 against the New Jersey Devils before Bernier returned and lost three more. The final night of that losing streak, March 29 against the Detroit Red Wings, was effectively the death knell for Toronto's playoff hopes.

Randy Carlyle  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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