It appears as if the Toronto Maple Leafs did not have to look too far to find Randy Carlyle's new assistant coaches.
Speaking Thursday on TSN 1050, Steve Simmons of Sun Media and TSN's The Reporters, said a decision on the Leafs coaching staff is expected to be made next week, with Steve Spott, Derek King and Gord Dineen – all currently employed behind the bench by the Toronto Marlies – as the leading candidates.
“All of the promotions will be from within the organization,” Simmons said. “I believe two of them will come from that group of three.”
Despite rumours of major changes following the Leafs' late-season collapse, that were thought to be reinforced by Tim Leiweke's promise of a culture change within the organization, it seems as if the current management team of Brendan Shanahan and Dave Nonis are focused on tweaking the team's roster as opposed to a major overhaul.
Thus far in the off-season, Nonis has made only depth signings, keeping his core group of players intact.
According to Simmons, the Leafs are putting the focus on Carlyle to make the adjustments himself, as opposed to having the new assistants force it upon him.
“I don't know how any of them will change him, he has to change himself,” Simmons said. “He has to coach this hockey team differently because what he did last year wasn't successful.”
The hiring of new assistants was necessitated after the Leafs announced on May 8 that Carlyle's former coaching staff, consisting of Dave Farrish, Greg Cronin and Scott Gordon would not be retained, while the head coach received a two-year extension.
Simmons: Leafs' assistants to come from within