This afternoon, the Leafs announced the hiring of Dean Chynoweth as an assistant coach.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has hired Dean Chynoweth as an assistant coach. The 52-year-old replaces former assistant coach Dave Hakstol who recently joined the Seattle Kraken as the franchise’s first head coach.

“After spending time with Dean, it became clear that his knowledge, passion and personality would make him the right fit,” said Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe. “We’re fortunate to add someone of his quality and experience to our staff.” ”

As someone who grew up in western Canada and watched the Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada every weekend, I’m thrilled to join the team’s coaching staff,” said Chynoweth. “I’m very excited for the opportunity to work alongside Sheldon, the rest of the staff and the talented group of players in Toronto.”

Chynoweth comes to the Leafs after three years as an assistant under Rod Brind’Amour in Carolina. It’s a little interesting that he moved on from Carolina for a job that doesn’t appear to be a promotion (at least not in terms of title), but perhaps he will have a more prominent role on the staff here. Brind’Amour recently signed an extension which gave him additional job security and likely made clear to Chynoweth that any head coaching position in the near future would have to come outside of Carolina. I’m sure he’s hoping that he’ll follow in Hakstol’s footsteps in obtaining a head coaching position soon.

At the time of Brind’Amour’s extension, it was widely reported that he had agitated to get his assistants paid:

But the holdup on finalizing the deal — which Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported was a below-market $1.8 million annually — was never about Brind’Amour exploring his options or being dissatisfied with the terms of his new contract. Instead, it was about assuring his staff — assistant coaches, trainers and equipment managers — were also taken care of.

“We have a special group down here, and for me to do this job to the best of my ability, it’s important to have the right people around me,” Brind’Amour said.

Brind’Amour specifically mentioned trainer Doug Bennett, strength coach Bill Burniston and the equipment staff in his comments, but the team has not yet confirmed which coaches and staff members have signed new deals. Assistant coach Dean Chynoweth has reportedly been permitted to talk with other teams.

Like many coaches, Chynoweth has been in the game for a long time. He had a 240-game NHL career (enough to be a successful draft pick by the scouting models, though probably not what you want from 13th overall), retiring in 1998. Starting in 2000, he spent nine years as a coach in the Western Hockey League, before becoming an assistant with the New York Islanders. Following his stint on Long Island, he was a head coach in the American Hockey League, which took him up until his recent employment in Carolina.

The article on the Leafs site helpfully has a pronunciation guide (Chynoweth is pronounced SHIN-owth), which I definitely would not have known otherwise.

Welcome to Toronto, Dean!