Unlike many in the hockey world, Paul Maurice says he is not sitting on the edge of his seat, waiting to see what Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson does next.
The Toronto Marlies coach didn't hesitate last night when he was asked if he is getting antsy regarding the coach's job with the Leafs.
"No, not even a bit," Maurice, 39, said. "It takes a while to mentally get back on the horse (after being knocked out of the American Hockey League playoffs last Friday). I certainly respect the process. I'm not waiting for the phone to ring. I know (Ferguson) can't just rush to a decision like this."
The majority of observers figure Maurice will be the next Leafs coach, but there is a theory Ferguson might interview other candidates before announcing Maurice is the guy. Ferguson has been tight-lipped, though he consistently has referred to Maurice as a "prime candidate."
Maurice has concluded player meetings with the Marlies and if he is going to be named the next Leafs coach, it won't be until next week at the earliest. Maurice was planning to leave the area today to visit family in Windsor. Who knows? Maurice could be heading out of town for one last relaxing weekend before he steps into the maelstrom.
But Maurice was adamant he and Ferguson have not had a formal discussion about the job. It has been reported Maurice is seeking a deal of three or four years and though that is likely what he will do, the subject has not been broached.
"I haven't talked to anyone about anything in that regard," Maurice said. "John and I have not talked in terms of moving forward."
Maurice's contract allows a window, starting on June 1, for him to talk to other teams about their coaching vacancies. But Maurice and his wife, Mitch, have little interest in moving their three children from Oakville.
"Regardless of whether it's here or whatever, it has to be the right thing for my family," Maurice said. "We love it here."