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Sheldon Keefe is the 31st head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs will be playing their first game with new head coach Sheldon Keefe tonight against the Arizona Coyotes.
Keefe was hired to replace Mike Babcock, who was fired on Wednesday after four years as head coach, making Keefe the 31st head coach for the Maple Leafs.
In 2015, Keefe was hired as the head coach for the Toronto Marlies, the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate team to the Maple Leafs, where he led the team to win the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy in the regular season twice. He also led them to the Eastern Conference finals in 2016 and 2019 and the Calder Cup championship in 2018.
A few of the players on the championship team went on to be called up to the NHL and now play for the Maple Leafs, including Frederik Gauthier, Andreas Johnsson, Justin Holl, Martin Marincin,Travis Dermott, Dmytro Timashov and Trevor Moore.
Prior to his experience in the AHL, Keefe worked as a coach for the Soo Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League.
In a press conference held yesterday, Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said, “I think Sheldon’s earned it…he’s had success basically everywhere, he’s coached since he started coaching.”
Keefe has signed a three-year contract with the Maple Leafs.
The game will take place tonight at the Gila River Arena at 9 p.m. EST.