Facts are facts, my friends. Heading into a sure-to-be hectic offseason, the Leafs needed a coach to round out their staff. And Dave Hakstol certainly is one, I guess.
It’s probably a safe bet that precisely zero people outside of the Leafs organization foresaw this hiring. Hakstol’s announcement came decidedly out of left field – his name almost entirely absent from Twitter timelines as a possible D.J. Smith replacement from the moment the latter sauntered off to “greener” pastures in Ottawa right up until when Leafs PR hit “send” on their official press release earlier today. In fact, Toronto’s newly-filled coaching vacancy had been one of the most under-reported topics of the offseason up to this point, with conversations being held regarding possible changes to the team’s defensive and penalty kill systems despite no one being in place to actually implement them.
Now, that person is Hakstol. The Maple Leafs made his hiring official this afternoon, pairing the former the Philadelphia Flyers bench boss with Paul McFarland to serve as Mike Babcock’s duo of assistants.
The public response? A resounding “huh?”.
NEWS: The @MapleLeafs have hired Dave Hakstol as an assistant coach.
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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation