You Can Bet On The Next Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs

After another early exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced the firing of Head Coach Sheldon Keefe on Thursday morning. Just as quickly, they began the search for his replacement, and that pursuit has become the talk of the hockey world – including the regulated betting markets here in Ontario. Multiple sportsbooks have already put up markets where Leafs fans and hockey bettors alike can put their stake on who will take Keefe’s place behind the Toronto bench.

Next Leaf Coach Betting Markets

The first two Ontario sportsbooks to dip their toes into the Leafs head coach market were FanDuel and Bet99. Fanduel’s list is a little bit longer, while Bet99 limits theirs to a group of ten.

Craig Berube-125+170Guy Boucher+1300+1100
Todd McLellan-105+185Joel Quenneville+1900+2400
Dean Evason+850+750Bruce Boudreau+3400+2400
Gerard Gallant+850+750Mike Sullivan+3400+3500
Jay Woodcroft+850+900Darryl Sutter+6000+6000
Rod Brind’Amour+1100XJohn Gruden+6000X

Leading the way on both books is Craig Berube, who most recently coached with the St. Louis Blues. Joining the team as an associate coach in 2017/18, Berube took over from Mike Yeo as their head coach in the middle of the 2018/19 season and won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Following that, the Blues had two first-round exits, a second-round exit, missed the playoffs last season, and following a 13-14-1 start to this season, Berube was replaced by Drew Bannister. Before St. Louis, Berube worked as both a head and assistant coach at both the AHL and NHL levels in the Philadelphia Flyers organization and spent a year in between Philadelphia and St. Louis coaching the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.

Next on the list is Todd McLellan, whose odds shot up overnight after several reports that the Leafs could be interested. McLellan started his career as a three-year assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings, the first year of which he coached Leafs president Brendan Shanahan. McLellan then took over the reins with the San Jose Sharks for seven seasons before heading to the Edmonton Oilers for three years and change, and the Los Angeles Kings for four and change. Interestingly, McLellan has struggled with playoff success himself, escaping the first round just once since 2013. McLellan was let go by the Kings midway through this season.

Craig Berube to become the next coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs


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Rounding out the top five are former Minnesota Wild coach Dean Evason, journeyman Gerard Gallant, and recent Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft. Both books are also allowing for the possibility of a Guy Boucher promotion from assistant to head coach, a potential reinstatement into the league for Joel Quenneville, a homecoming for Bruce Boudreau, a potential poaching of Mike Sullivan from the Pittsburgh Penguins, and what would be a shocking reunion of GM Brad Treleving and Darryl Sutter. Fanduel is also considering the possibility of the Leafs approaching Rod Brind’Amour if Carolina can’t sort out an extension, and is also offering odds on Toronto Marlies coach John Gruden coming up the same way that Keefe did in 2019.

If I had to guess, the safest play here is also the shortest one. Most of the insider contingent has connected Berube to the Leafs, he’s spoken in media over the past few months about how he’d welcome the challenge, and his Stanley Cup win – even if it’s only real deep playoff run of his career – will be a loud bullet point on his resume.

Sheldon Keefe’s Next Stop

Along with the Leafs pursuing a new coach, this leaves Keefe in pursuit of a new job. Despite just being fired, Keefe is expected to be in demand immediately. His 212-97-40 record in the regular season is one of the best in NHL history on a percentage basis, and many are looking at his departure as more a matter of time and turnover above him. Even this season, while the Maple Leafs had aspirations for more, going to overtime in Game 7 against Boston was about where most neutral parties would’ve pegged them at the start of the season.

Fanduel is also following this market, offering five cities where they can see the 43-year-old landing by opening night:

New Jersey Devils-115Not HC of Any NHL Team+750
Pittsburgh Penguins+230Winnipeg Jets+1000
San Jose Shars+600Los Angeles Kings+1900

The favourite at the moment is the New Jersey Devils, who decided to part ways with interim coach Travis Green at the end of the season, allowing him to go to the Ottawa Senators. The Devils have already been reported to have asked for and been granted permission to speak with Keefe about the role.

The Devils are loaded with talent and while they shockingly missed the playoffs as a result driven by injuries and bad goaltending this season, these are issues that Keefe has navigated with success in Toronto. Whether he can push further in the playoffs is a big question, but he’d be a great fit for a team that needs to make sure they at least get there.

Second on the list is the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have an obvious connection through President and GM Kyle Dubas. The Penguins, however, don’t appear to be looking to move on from Mike Sullivan at this time. San Jose, Winnipeg, and Los Angeles currently round out the group.

Sheldon Keefe to coach the New Jersey Devils on opening night, 2024/25


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