Treliving quote hints at crack down on prima donna behaviour in Toronto

Published September 11, 2023 at 8:23 PM

When it comes to coaching a hockey team, there's a fine line that needs to be walked. Coaches need to push their players to get the very best out of them, but push too far and those same players will turn on even the best coach. On the other side, a soft coach will lose the respect of his players and find his words falling on deaf ears.

In the past, Sheldon Keefe has been accused of being a soft coach. Playing music during practice, changing his starting lineups for special occasions, and most importantly, walking back valid criticisms of his top players. While Keefe was ultimately the one in front of the reporter's mic's, many wonder if Dubas was the one behind Keefe's comments being retracted.

By the sounds of it, Brad Treliving plans to give Keefe a little more leash to discipline his players as he sees fit.

The ultimate job of the coach is to maximize the performance of the individual and therefore the performance of the team.
And there's different ways to do it. Some days aren't all rainbows and lollipops. This is a hard business, and it's a hard league.
And to do great things is difficult, and you have to push people out of their comfort zone. So I think there's always ways that you can push players.

You want to be careful, I've always felt that the hardest conversations are usually best handled behind closed doors. And I don't think a player needs to be admonished publicly to understand if there's something that the coach feels he needs to get better at.

Having said that, it's an emotional game. Things happen. I'm sure there's going to be emotional times this year... When you live in this business and you work in it and this is what you do and you're invested the way everybody is invested, sometimes there's an emotional shrapnel that comes up.

I haven't been through it in Toronto. I'm sure it flies right under the radar in Toronto, and nothing ever gets printed. And there's no headlines for it, I'm sure. But what I found out is, nine times out of 10, that's just a little bit of noise and emotion. You certainly don't want that every day. But to think that you're not going to have some of that every once in a while, we're probably kidding ourselves. But I think you handle your business as men behind closed doors, face to face, and I'm sure that's how a lot of it will be handled moving forward. - Brad Treliving

Listen, I'm not expecting Keefe to fly off the handle and be the new John Tortorella. I am expecting players to know exactly what is expected of them and know when they haven't lived up to that. A little more spice from their head coach will hopefully go a long way towards getting the Leafs a little more fired up when they need it.
September 11   |   834 answers
Treliving quote hints at crack down on prima donna behaviour in Toronto

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