Leafs coach Carlyle responds to Riddick Bowe's 'knockout' threat

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle has caught the ire of legendary boxer Riddick Bowe....

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle has caught the ire of legendary boxer Riddick Bowe. (MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI Agency)

Lance Hornby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:23 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA - Randy Carlyle had lost six straight games before Friday - but not his sense of humour.

Asked at the end of Friday’s morning skate scrum whether he’d knew about retired boxer Riddick Bowe’s tweeted "threat" to sock him if the Leafs lost against the Flyers, Carlyle had a chuckle.

“I just heard,” the amused coach said. “I’ll have to get my posse together from Azilda (a mining town near Sudbury), from the Star Hotel.”

The Brooklyn-born former heavyweight champ, who twice kayoed Evander Holyfield, has a home in Toronto and a passion for the Leafs. As such, the prospect of missing the playoffs and Carlyle’s handling of some of his favourite Leafs prompted Bowe to lash out after Tuesday’s loss to St. Louis.

‘If the (Leafs) lose tomorrow I’m going to knock out Randy Carlyle. One punch between the eyes’, read his tweet. It included the hashtag #BoweLeafsBowe.

Yahoo Sports pointed out Carlyle had 29 career NHL fights, but says the 46-year-old Bowe would still prevail in the tale of the tape against the 56-year-old coach.

A few Leafs had heard about the Bowe tweet and David Clarkson, who has had his own difficulties living up to fan expectations, thought some levity wasn’t a bad thing.

“You always try and keep things light,” Clarkson said. “At this point in the season, there’s no sense being tense or tight. You have to find a way to start winning games.”


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