GLENDALE, Ariz. — New Toronto Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe spent a decent chunk of a 30-minute morning skate on Thursday teaching instead of running drills.
There’s a lot for his new team to learn and not much time to do it.
The 39-year-old Keefe is now in charge of the Maple Leafs after veteran coach Mike Babcock was fired Wednesday with the team mired in a six-game losing streak.
Keefe was officially introduced Thursday morning as the 31st head coach in Maple Leafs history. He’s got a long history with general manager Kyle Dupas, who hopes Keefe is the right choice to help Toronto bounce back from a disappointing 9-10-4 start.
Keefe believes it can be done.
“We’ve got a lot of talent and the ability to make life hard on the other team in a lot of ways,” he said. “Focusing on that, we believe, will produce positive results. Because the players are good enough for that to happen.”
Keefe will make his coaching debut during Toronto’s game against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
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David Brandt, The Associated Press