Sheldon Keefe opens up about the day he was fired by the Maple Leafs

Ryan Smitheram
May 28, 2024  (12:47)

Sheldon Keefe
Photo credit: NHL

Former Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe made some surprising comments at his introductory press conference for the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils formally introduced Keefe to the media today as their new head coach. With that, came many questions from the media about his tenure in Toronto - from how it ended to what he learned. Surprisingly, Keefe was very open in his responses, particularly about how things ended.
"It was about bringing closure to the situation. i had a pretty good sense that day that I was going to wake up and be called in to a meeting and knew what the result was going to be. I was up around 3:00AM and knew I wanted to bring some closure to the situation. I didn't want to spend any time going through the media, but I wanted to share a message with the fans... I wanted to be able to control my message and get it out there. I had that spot picked out, which is not far from where we live. It's my happy place."

Keefe also explained that his discussions with the Devils were thanks to Brad Treliving, who called him while he was out for lunch with his wife the day he was fired, explaining that the Devils would like to speak with him. Keefe was also asked about what he learned during his time in Toronto, and while he didn't go into specifics, he believes he is much better for his time there.
"In terms of Toronto itself, certainly there is lots of things I have taken away from that. After five years and six playoff rounds, I'm a far better coach than when i arrived in the NHL."

Keefe vaulted to the top of the Devils' candidate list when he became available, as confirmed by GM Tom Fitzgerald today, but it doesn't come as a surprise. Many had believed that he would not be out of a job for long and believe that he will have tons of success outside of the hockey mecca that is Toronto.
28 MAI   |   497 ANSWERS
Sheldon Keefe opens up about the day he was fired by the Maple Leafs

Did the Leafs make the right decision getting rid of Keefe?

Yes, they needed a change39579.5 %
No, the first change should have been the roster5110.3 %
Not sure, ask me again next spring5110.3 %
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