Exciting News: New Jersey Devils Hire Former Maple Leafs Coach Sheldon Keefe

Big news for New Jersey Devils fans! The team just hired Sheldon Keefe as their new head coach.

At 43 years old, Keefe is taking on a new adventure after coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs for five seasons.

With a record of 212-97-40 and making the playoffs every year, he’s got quite the resume.

Key Highlights of Sheldon Keefe’s Hiring by New Jersey Devils

  • New Jersey Devils hire former Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe with a four-year contract.
  • Keefe led the Toronto Marlies to a Calder Cup win in 2018 and had a successful coaching career in the OHL and junior hockey.
  • Known for managing high-end offensive talent and implementing structured defensive systems, Keefe aims to guide the Devils back to the playoffs.

Keefe’s Journey with the Maple Leafs

Keefe did well in the regular season with the Maple Leafs, but playoffs were tough.

He couldn’t get past the first round, which led to him being let go on May 9th after another early playoff exit.

The Devils didn’t waste any time, signing Keefe to a four-year contract, which includes the two years left on his deal with Toronto.

Coaching Experience and Wins

Keefe brings loads of experience. Before coaching the Maple Leafs, he was in charge of the Toronto Marlies in the AHL from 2015-2019. He even led them to win the Calder Cup in 2018.

He’s also had great success in the OHL and junior hockey leagues.

  • Toronto Marlies: Won Calder Cup in 2018
  • Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL): Had a 44-17-7 record in his first full season
  • Pembroke Lumber Kings (Junior Hockey): Won 5 consecutive league championships

Unlocking the Devils’ Potential

The Devils believe Sheldon Keefe can help their young stars like Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Timo Meier shine.

Keefe is good at managing top offensive talent and setting up strong defensive systems, making him a great fit for the team.

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Regular Season Mastery vs. Playoff Challenges

While Keefe’s playoff record with Toronto wasn’t great, his regular season skills are top-notch. The Devils missed the playoffs in the 2023-24 season and hope Keefe can guide them back.

His hiring brings a fresh perspective and a chance for both Keefe and the Devils to achieve greater success together.

Sheldon Keefe: An In-Depth Look

Sheldon Keefe, a 43-year-old coach from Canada, is now the head coach of the New Jersey Devils. Let’s take a closer look at his background and achievements:

  • Maple Leafs Tenure: From 2019-2024, Keefe led the Maple Leafs to a 212-97-40 record and five playoff appearances.
  • AHL Success: As head coach of the Toronto Marlies (2015-2019), he had a 199-89-31 record and won the Calder Cup in 2018.
  • Junior Hockey Triumphs: Coached the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL and the Pembroke Lumber Kings in junior hockey, winning a championship in his first season with the Lumber Kings.
  • Playing Career: Drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2nd round of the 1999 NHL Draft, Keefe played 125 NHL games with Tampa Bay and had stints in the AHL and IHL.

Notable Achievements

  • Junior Hockey
    • Pembroke Lumber Kings: Won 5 consecutive league championships in the CCHL and the 2011 RBC Cup.
    • Fastest coach to reach 200 career wins in the CCHL.
  • OHL
    • Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds: Led the team to a 44-17-7 record in his first full season and a franchise-best 54-12-2 record in 2014-15. Named OHL and CHL Coach of the Year in 2015.
  • AHL
    • Toronto Marlies: 199-89-31 record and won the Calder Cup in 2018.
  • NHL
    • Toronto Maple Leafs: Best start for a coach in Maple Leafs history with a 15-4-1 record in his first 20 games. Made the playoffs in each of his five seasons.

Challenges Faced

  • Special Teams Management: Struggled with special teams during playoffs.
  • Defensive Pairings: Had difficulties finding the right defensive combinations.
  • Forward Lines: Establishing productive forward line combinations, especially a strong third line, was tough.
  • Playoff Expectations: Couldn’t get past the first round, leading to his dismissal.

Coaching Style

  • Offensive Philosophy: Likes an up-tempo, offensive style with aggressive forechecking.
  • Tactical Adjustments: Known for frequent line changes and tactical tweaks, especially during playoffs.
  • Structured Defense: Emphasizes structured defensive systems.
  • Up-Tempo, Possession Style: His teams play with pace, focusing on puck possession and offensive zone time.

In summary, Sheldon Keefe’s hiring is a fresh start for the Devils. With his experience and coaching style, he aims to lead New Jersey back to the playoffs and beyond.

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Alistair Thiedicke hails from Hamburg, Germany, where his love for sports took root. Growing up a die-hard fan, his passion for sports evolved into a career in sports writing. Since 2023, Alistair has been a dedicated writer and editor at Viz Times, covering Soccer, NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, and more. His engaging articles captivate sports enthusiasts everywhere.

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