WATCH: David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, explains why the hockey club let go of head coach Randy Carlyle.
TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs fired head coach Randy Carlyle Tuesday following what team management said has been an inconsistent beginning to the season so far.
“It’s always a tough decision. It’s not about one game or one stretch,” Maple Leafs General Manager Dave Nonis said during a press conference Tuesday morning.
“We felt that we had to make that change today based on the way the team was trending.”
Nonis told reporters the firing was the right move to make to get the team back on track.
“We had some good stretches, but I can’t stand here and tell you we’ve been consistent,” he said.
“The coach takes part of the responsibility. The coaches are easy to let go. We all have to take responsibility, the players included.”
The Leafs also announced assistant coaches Peter Horachek and Steve Spott will now be handling the coaching duties until a new head coach can be found.
“Today really was about making the change. We have two quality guys who’ve been head coaches,” said Nonis. “We’ll approach the coaching duties in the next couple of days.”
The Leafs (21-16-3) are fourth in the Atlantic Division with 45 points, one point ahead of the Boston Bruins for the second Eastern Conference wild-card berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The team has been in a slump of late with 7 losses in its last 10 games.
WATCH: Maple Leafs players react to news of Randy Carlyle firing
“Our consistency hasn’t been there,” Nonis said. “It’s been trending downward for the last little while.”
The Leafs GM said he advised Carlyle Monday night that he was going to be let go and told players of the move Tuesday morning.
“We’ve been discussing it for a while, you don’t want to make these decisions lightly,” he said. “Yesterday we made the decision which was the right thing to do.”
Despite missing the playoffs last season, the team decided to re-sign Carlyle with a two-year extension.
“Randy deserved to come back. He had done enough to come back,” explained Nonis.
“It’s not that he’s not capable. He’s an excellent coach. Good coaches get let go and unfortunately we had to do that today. He was the right guy to bring back.”
Carlyle was hired by the Leafs on March 2, 2012 and has a record of 91 wins, 78 losses, and 19 overtime/shootout losses in 188 games behind Toronto’s bench.
Prior to joining the Leafs, the former NHL defenceman was head coach of the Anaheim Ducks where he won a Stanley Cup in 2007.