Ex-Blues coach Craig Berube gets Maple Leafs job - ESPN

30 days ago

Kristen Shilton, ESPN NHL reporterMay 17, 2024, 05:04 PM ET

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Kristen Shilton is a national NHL reporter for ESPN.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Craig Berube as their new head coach.

Craig Berube - Figure 1
Photo ESPN

The Leafs fired head coach Sheldon Keefe on May 9 after they bowed out of the postseason in the first round for the third time in four full seasons under Keefe. Toronto general manager Brad Treliving said the team was targeting a fresh voice who could help it reach its full potential.

"In this business over a period of time, the message stops hitting home," Treliving said of moving on from Keefe. "It's not just changing the personnel but understanding why a message may not be getting through. So, our focus right now is trying to find that individual [as our next coach]."

This is Berube's third NHL head-coaching job. He was previously behind the bench in Philadelphia from 2013 to '15, guiding the Flyers to a playoff berth in 2014 before being let go following a poor sixth-place finish in the Metropolitan Division the following season.

Berube, 58, went on to coach the St. Louis Blues' American Hockey League affiliate in Chicago in 2016-17. At the end of that season, the Blues promoted Berube to be an assistant coach under Mike Yeo. When Yeo was fired in November 2018, Berube was named interim head coach for the struggling Blues. In January 2019, St. Louis was a lowly 15-18-4 and sitting last in league standings. The Blues rallied under Berube to not only reach the postseason as a third seed in the Central Division but eventually win St. Louis' first Stanley Cup.

That made Berube just the second interim head coach in league history to ever win a championship (Larry Robinson did it first with the 2000 New Jersey Devils).

In June 2019, the Blues removed Berube's interim tag and signed him to a three-year contract. He reupped with St. Louis on another three-year deal in February 2022 to take him through the 2024-25 season. St. Louis never matched the same success it had during Berube's early years there, and the Blues fired him in December 2023.

Berube now joins the Leafs with a 281-190-72 record as an NHL coach.

The Alberta, Canada, native also played 17 seasons in the league, appearing in 1054 games, with 61 goals and 159 points. He also dressed in 40 games for the Leafs during this career, scoring five goals and 12 points during the 1991-92 season.

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