Maple Leafs officially introduce Craig Berube as their next head coach

May 21, 2024 | Headlines, Sports

A new era in Toronto officially began today as Craig Berube was officially introduced as the next head coach of the Maple Leafs at a media conference on Tuesday morning.

News broke on Friday, May 17 that Berube would be named as the 32nd head coach in franchise history, and it was made official after he was introduced by the Leafs’ President of Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan and General Manager Brad Treliving.

Treliving said that Berube, who coached the St. Louis Blues to a Stanley Cup victory in 2019, was part of an extensive group of coaches that the organization looked into for their vacant head coaching role after the team parted ways with Sheldon Keefe on May 9.

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He said that upwards of nine candidates were considered for the role.

While not revealing any specific names, Treliving said that throughout the process Berube separated himself from the other candidates.

“As I went through the process with other individuals, it kept coming back to Craig [Berube],” he said.

“We were very fortunate to have someone of Craig’s ability available, that doesn’t happen all the time, Treliving said. “I just think he’s a great match, I just think he’s a perfect fit for the group where we’re at right now.”

Shanahan said that Berube’s great character was re-affirmed to them the more the search went on.

He said he was impressed with the feedback they received from a variety of individuals in the vetting process

“Things that we were hoping for, things that we saw, were confirmed,” Shanahan said.

Berube, a Canadian and former Leafs player in the 1991-92 season, said he could not pass up the opportunity to coach in Toronto when it arose.

“You get a chance to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs, for me I’m going to jump on that,” he said.

Berube also said that the current Leafs’ core group of players, featuring the likes of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner, among others, attracted him to the position.

“The core player group is great here,” Berube said.

The Leafs have just one series win in their last eight appearances with this core group, but Berube said he is not focused on the organization’s past shortcomings.

“That stuff is in the past,” he said. “I’m focused on now and the future.”

“I’m going to obviously bring my own style here and how we want to play the game,” Berube said.

Some of the key aspects Berube brought forth to media about his coaching style was that he emphasizes a high level of competitiveness, accountability and communication.

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But Berube said one of his main focusses is on team-oriented hockey.

“It’s all about the team for me,” he said. “Everybody’s important on a team, everybody’s got to be used on the team, and they all have jobs and roles on the team.”

Both Berube and Treliving did not go into details on the specifics of this team’s roster moving forward.

But while not diving into speculation, both said that the process of evaluating and building a team starts now.

“We’re going to look at all areas,” Berube said. “That’s not for today to discuss, that’s discussions that we’re going to have here going forward and hopefully we’ll figure that out soon.”

“Today’s day one,” Treliving said. “We’re going through the process of how we build a team, we’re going to start digging in today.”