TORONTO - Hailed in certain circles during his coronation several weeks ago as yet another franchise “saviour,” Brendan Shanahan’s first decision at the helm of the blue-and-white soap opera known as the Maple Leafs is bound to be an unpopular one among some within the team’s rabid fan base.
Of course, he’s accustomed to making controversial choices dating back to his time as the league’s disciplinarian.
As a result, by signing embattled coach Randy Carlyle to a two-year contract extension on Thursday, Sheriff Shanny and GM Dave Nonis sent the message that they’ve tuned out the public’s demands to have the coach’s head served up on a platter.
Summed up Nonis on Thursday: “If you are worried about optics in this market, it’s going to be a disaster.”
Just like the 2013-14 season was.
“You have to make a decision based on what you think is the best decision for the organization,” Nonis said. “This, in our minds, was truly the best option.
“We believe he can get the job done for us. The optics don’t really matter to us. If you’re looking to please people, you’re probably going to make some poor decisions.”