One Sheldon Keefe quote not sitting well with Maple Leafs fans

Mike Armenti
May 29, 2024  (10:58)

Sheldon Keefe during his introductory press conference in New Jersey
Photo credit: New Jersey Devils

During his introductory press conference in New Jersey on Tuesday, Sheldon Keefe shared a quote that has ruffled more than a few feathers in Toronto.

After being hired by the New Jersey Devils last week, Keefe's introductory press conference was delayed, but in the end, it was worth the wait, as it provided some key information that Leafs fans were curious about.
Above all else, fans really wanted to know whether or not Keefe was truly blindsided by the Leafs' decision to fire him and also wanted to know how the team's former head coach felt about the situation now that the dust has settled.
Keefe did confirm that he saw the termination coming in Toronto after another disappointing early exit in the postseason, and he also confirmed that he enjoyed his time in Toronto, has great relationships with a lot of people within the Leafs organization and that he's ready to turn the page and start anew in New Jersey.
However, there was one comment that really stood out to fans. It was Keefe's comments about how rival coaches were reaching out to him to welcome him to the coaching ranks of "the real NHL".
"It was a tremendous honour to coach the Maple Leafs. There's a lot that goes into that. I've had a number of well-established coaches in the league reach out to say I should be happy now that I get to coach in the real NHL. Toronto is quite unique, it's not like the rest of the league."

There are a number of ways to interpret that comment. Yes, Toronto is a media circus and everyone knows it, but the fact that rival coaches view the Leafs as separate from the rest of the league is really quite frustrating, especially with how many struggling franchises the Maple Leafs are helping to prop up.
Keefe himself did not say anything negative about the Maple Leafs, so nobody is frustrated with him, but the fact that so many coaches are laughing at Leafs goes to show just how important it is for the organization to finally achieve some postseason success.
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One Sheldon Keefe quote not sitting well with Maple Leafs fans

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