After relieving Mike Babcock of his duties as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it became quite clear to Kyle Dubas that it was time for a change of pace and after noticing the nine straight victories that Sheldon Keefe led the Marlies to at home, it only made sense that the AHL executive was promptly promoted as club’s next head coach.
This was just under two weeks ago as the Maple Leafs opened a road trip. It started out in Arizona where Keefe met the team on November 20th and after swiftly taking down the Coyotes, they did the same thing two nights later while paying a visit to the Colorado Avalanche.
When the team touched down in Toronto at the conclusion of their four-game road trip, the Maple Leafs announced that Sheldon Keefe had signed on for additional two years as the team’s head coach. This would make the Marlies bench boss the 31st head coach in franchise history.
Since Sheldon Keefe was promoted, assistant coach A.J. MacLean took over as bench boss, though he wasn’t completely alone with the helping hands of assistants Rob Davison as well as Jack Han. During his 10 days positioned as interim head coach, MacLean posted a 5-3-2-1 record, impressive by any means in the AHL. A matter of fact, it’s so impressive that it’s the second best record in the AHL along with 33 points.
However, as of Sunday, it appears that’s all he’ll get as another bench boss will take over on Wednesday. With the team leading the North Division, it was an important weekend at home in Toronto, however, after splitting the series with Utica, the new head coach joins the Marlies on Wednesday when the team is in Rochester, New York.
With that being said, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Sunday that Greg Moore will take over as bench boss, this bringing to a close the team’s 10-day coaching search. In a statement from Kyle Dubas, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he said, “Greg’s record in development and winning with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program and the USHL’s Chicago Steel to begin his coaching career made us take great notice of him as a candidate. More importantly, it became clear in speaking with his employers at USA Hockey and the Chicago Steel that Greg was the best fit for our program in terms of development philosophy.”
Greg Moore, 35-years-old, is the former head coach of the Chicago Steel where he spent the past two seasons behind the bench after spending the previous three seasons with the USNTDP Juniors. During his time of service with Chicago in the USHL, Moore recorded a 52-25-5 record, these numbers coming together in 82 games played. Moore was initially named head coach of the Chicago Steel on June 6, 2018.
If you look even further back to the time he spent with the USNTDP, Moore guided his team as an assistant coach to gold medal victories and at various levels. The U-17 and U-18 are just two of several won with USA Hockey.
As noted by The Canadian Press, Moore also served in a guest coach capacity at the Maple Leafs 2019 development camp in Toronto, hence the familiarity between Dubas and Moore. In speaking further to the newest addition of the Toronto Marlies family on Sunday, Dubas said the team evaluated all options before landing on Moore who’s resume is impressive. When speaking about the future of the Marlies and the vacant position, Dubas said, “After a detailed review, it was clear to us that Greg Moore was the best fit to become the head coach of the Marlies.”
In taking a look at the other side of Greg Moore’s successful and accomplished career, the native of Lisbon, Maine played 10 NHL games, this in addition to 377 at the American Hockey League level. As well, he was a fifth-round selection (143rd overall) back in 2003 by the Calgary Flames.
Prior to his professional hockey days, Moore played four seasons for the University of Maine, a stint which saw him claim a Hockey East title during the 2003-04 regular season. To add to this, Moore won a gold medal with USA Hockey at two different levels. This includes victories with U-18 and U-20 before tackling hockey at the professional ranks. As he embarked on his career’s next chapter, his days in professional hockey would span 10 seasons with five AHL teams. This also included brief stints with the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets.
In a statement from Kyle Dubas when addressing the mid-season hiring of Moore, he closed in saying, “We would like to sincerely thank Larry Robbins, Ryan Hardy, and the entire Chicago Steel organization for accommodating this move in the middle of their season. The Steel not only allowed Greg to speak to our club but also promoted his candidacy. That speaks a great deal to their program’s commitment to development of all members.”
Following their 5-3 victory on Sunday, the Toronto Marlies are back in action on Wednesday as they pay a visit to the Rochester Americans with puck drop scheduled for 7:05pmET. The game can be seen on AHL TV and Leafs Nation Network, meanwhile, it can be heard on TSN Radio 1050 Toronto.