Maurice in no hurry to hire

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

Paul Maurice is willing to stand alone.

For the time being.

In the coming weeks, however, the new Maple Leafs bench boss is poised to crank up the search for assistant coaches, not to mention filling the vancant head coaching job with the Marlies.

While Maurice already has fielded calls about the openings on the coaching staff, there has been the usual rash of speculation.

Will Peter DeBoer, the impressive coach of the Kitchener Rangers, be wooed to take over the Marlies?

Will Keith Acton, the lone holdover assistant from the Pat Quinn era, retain his position with the Leafs rather than end up with the Marlies, as many have predicted?

Either way, Maurice wants to wait and see which coaches will be cast free by their organizations in the near future, increasing the list of potential candidates.

"We won't start the thorough search until early June," Maurice said yesterday. "Because of the expected turnover throughout the league, we want to keep our options open."

It's just one of many tasks facing Maurice, who quickly is learning the ropes after just 12 days on the Toronto job.

Just taking his three children to the local arena for Sunday hockey has become a different experience since his appointment as the 26th head coach in team history.

"You get lots of congratulations at the rink," Maurice said. "At the same time people also have been very polite and allowed me to watch the kids, which is very important to me.

"I've been very appreciative and flattered by the response."

In less than two weeks at his new post, Maurice's plate has been full.

In the office, he has been helping to plan things like the Leafs rookie orientation camp.

Away from it, he has appeared on various radio stations fielding questions from fans.

But there have been no series of phone calls from the new coach to his players. And there won't be, not in the immediate future anyway.

"In terms of calling, these guys are on vacation right now and deserve (privacy)," Maurice said. "I do plan on contacting the captains in the near future."

Does that include a lengthy heart-to-heart with Mats Sundin about reports that the big Swede is concerned with the direction the team is heading?

"There is no need for urgency," Maurice said. "We'll get the opportunity. There is plenty of time."


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