Paul MacLean and Randy Carlyle are have crossed paths many times over the years, and although they are very different people and very different coaches, each has an “aw, shucks” demeanor about them for the most part.
They were teammates for 5 years on the Winnipeg Jets between 1983-84 and 1987-88, where they were one of the better teams in the toughest division in the NHL at the time.
Both spent time in the 2000’s in the Anaheim Ducks organization, MacLean as an assistant under Mike Babcock and Carlyle as a Stanley Cup winning head coach a few years later.
Now, the two are entwined in one of the biggest rivalries going in the NHL, the Battle of Ontario. While both teams took a step back in their ultimate quest, Thursday’s extension of Carlyle’s contract by the Toronto Maple Leafs means both are under contract until the end of the 2016-17 season, or 3 more years.
So, with both coaches having entered the off-season with questions surrounding their future, but both getting votes of confidence, which one will last longer and will either make it to the end of their current contracts?
From the MacLean point of view, it seems as though a transition in his personality wasn’t so well received and might have been a contributing factor to the Senators missing the playoffs. Or perhaps, as I have states before, did the Jack Adams Award and the notoriety he got in the lockout shortened season go to his head? Either way, it seems like GM Bryan Murray addressed the situation at the exit meetings and if MacLean can get back to his old ways, he might be able to right the ship.
On the other hand, Carlyle was at the helm for two epic collapses on the part of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last season’s game 7 meltdown was the worst ever, and this season’s 2-14 finish to drop like a stone in the standings wasn’t far behind. Still, somehow he escaped with not only his job, but with additional security in a 2 year extension. The Leafs seemed to quit on their bench boss and it will be interesting to see how they react when the new season starts.
Both coaches raised questions as to how they managed their players this past season, and there will be high expectations on both to get back to the playoffs immediately.
So, which one lasts longer?