Leafs shake up coaching staff
In this morning’s links, Mislav mentioned that the Leafs would be bringing in Greg Cronin as an assistant coach to Ron Wilson.
We’ve now learned that the team has hired both Cronin and Scott Gordon as assistant coaches and will part ways with Keith Acton and Tim Hunter.
Cronin was the head coach of the Northeastern University club, while Gordon is a former coach of the New York Islanders, and also served as an assistant to Wilson with the 2010 U.S. Olympic team.
From the Toronto Star:
Cronin, 48, was suspended in February as head coach of the menâ€™s team at Northeastern University for alleged NCAA violations related to the recruitment of prospective student-athletes.
Cronin led the team to their first consecutive seasons of .500 or better since the mid-â€™90s. He served as the head coach of the American Hockey Leagueâ€™s Bridgeport Tigers from 2003 to 2005, following a five-year stint as assistant coach with the New York Islanders.
And from TSN.ca
According to general manager Brian Burke, both Keith Acton, who has been an assistant coach with the Maple Leafs since 2000 and Tim Hunter who joined the coaching staff in 2008, will not be back with the team next season.
This looks good for the Leafs, as it seems Acton has worn out his welcome in the hockey mecca. Hunter, on the other hand, will leave Wilson’s side for the first time since 1997.
The team has now brought in what they surely believe to be two bright hockey minds to aid in ending the dreadful post-lockout playoff drought.
It has been reported that Burke did all the firing and hiring on this one, it was not Ron Wilson’s decision. Meanwhile, Wilson has yet to be offered a contract extension beyond the upcoming season.
With two former head coaches joining the staff, including one with NHL experience, pressure on Wilson has never been higher.