Randy Carlyle is returning to coach the Anaheim Ducks, the team he won a Stanley Cup with in 2007, according to two reports Monday evening.
The Ducks have not yet made an official announcement.
Carlyle was into his seventh season as head coach of the Ducks when he was let go in 2011. His second season as bench boss in Anaheim proved to be his most successful, as the Ducks won the Stanley Cup after boasting a 48-20-14 regular season record.
Despite a championship in Anaheim, Carlyle endured plenty of difficult times as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs before he was fired in January, 2015. Sure, he was behind the bench when the Leafs made it back to the playoffs in 2013. But their foray back into the post-season ended with a Game 7 third-period collapse to the Boston Bruins in the opening round.
They never made it back.
Last season the Leafs laid claim to one of the worst defensive efforts in NHL history. The number of shots they allowed rivaled that of expansion teams like the 1973-74 Islanders, the ’74-75 Capitals and the ’92-93 Sharks.
Despite all the off-season discussion of change with new coaches, shifts in systems, and a revamped supporting cast, this year’s Leafs are actually doing worse defensively than they did last season. And Carlyle has now paid the price.
During the second lockout, Kesler, then a Canucks prospect, had a 30-goal season with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, coached at that time by Carlyle.
“We just need a good bench coach, a coach that does things on the fly and makes changes during the game and not just between periods,” Kesler said earlier this month. “We need a coach that holds everybody accountable — not just certain guys. We need a coach to come in and just be a good motivator and do what a coach does.”
Carlyle has long had a reputation for being a demanding coach. That style seems to have worked against him in the past, including while he was in Anaheim.
Carlyle once told the CBC of his time in Anaheim: “Some of things that took place with our team in Anaheim should have been [dealt with] outside the scrutiny of the media. If I was unhappy with what was happening at practice I stopped the drill and expressed myself in a way in which everybody in the building heard versus keeping it more private between yourself and the players.”