Sheldon Keefe issues statement on joining the New Jersey Devils

Ryan Smitheram
May 23, 2024  (2:53 PM)

Sheldon Keefe
Photo credit: Maple Leafs

Former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was introduced as the New Jersey Devils new bench boss today and explained why he accepted the position.

Only a couple of weeks after being fired by the Leafs, Keefe has found himself as the head coach of the New Jersey Devils. Today, he was introduced in front of the media by Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald. During the press conference, Keefe explained why he chose to jump back into coaching so quickly after saying that he was going to spend time with his family in his thank you video to Leaf fans.
"This is an exciting time, and I'm honored to be a member of the Devils' organization. To have the chance to lead this young, dynamic team and to see the potential that can still be unlocked is all very attractive for me.

After meeting with David, Josh, Tom, and other members of the organization and in talking with my family, this was an opportunity that I couldn't turn down. I know this organization has a great history of winning and I look forward to getting started to work on leading them back to that level."

Keefe also shared his excitement on Twitter.
Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald noted during the press conference that while the search was exhaustive, when Keefe became available, he jumped to the top of the Devils' list. While his lack of post-season success is always the topic of discussion, Keefe had been a very good coach in his time in Toronto. He led the Leafs to three consecutive 100+ point seasons, was the second fastest coach in NHL history to reach 200 career wins and has the third best points percentage among active coaches.
Many believe that Keefe will thrive in a market like New Jersey after having spent the last five seasons in the hot bed of Toronto.
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Sheldon Keefe issues statement on joining the New Jersey Devils

Do you think letting Keefe go was a mistake by the Leafs?

Yes, roster should have changed first9716.4 %
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