As per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed head coach Sheldon Keefe to a two-year contract extension.
Sources say Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe has agreed to a 2-year extension. He was entering the final year of his deal. Signed through 23-24 now. More details on Insider Trading shortly on Sportscentre. @TSNHockey @TheAthletic— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 30, 2021
Keefe, 41, is entering his third season as the Leafs’ head coach, though this is poised to be the first time he’s coached for 82 games. He took over in November 2019 from head coach Mike Babcock, helping salvage a Leafs season that seemed to be in a tailspin, and he led Toronto to impressive regular season results in 2021, finishing atop the ad hoc North Division. However, playoff success has continued to elude the Leafs under Keefe; he has a qualifying loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets (in 2020) and a first-round loss to the Montreal Canadiens (in 2021) to his name.
General manager Kyle Dubas has always been fond of Keefe, and has hired him three times—to coach the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds, to coach the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and finally to coach the Leafs. The extension seems to indicate no loss of faith from Dubas despite the playoff struggles, and also gives Keefe some financial security—even if Dubas is dismissed.
More to come as we learn more.
.@PierreVLeBrun on Insider Trading said #Leafs wanted to remove any distraction of having Sheldon Keefe coach on final year of his contract, hence two-year extension. But, it's not a really long one.— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 30, 2021
"They believe in him, but it's a prove-me contract at two years, not five."
The tweet above is a good summary.
Leafs confirm new Keefe contract through 2023-24, say it was agreed to earlier this summer.— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) September 30, 2021
One other point from Insider Trading: Jon Cooper and Jared Bednar, both on expiring deals, are in talks to extend.