As an NHL player and now as an analyst, P.K. Subban has never been shy about sharing his opinions.
And now the former defenceman has set his sights on the Maple Leafs and how to fix the team: Fire Sheldon Keefe.
“It’s time for the Toronto Maple Leafs to move on from Sheldon Keefe,” Subban began in a video posted on X (formerly known as Twitter).
“I think the Toronto Maple Leafs are doing themselves a disservice by wasting the years of the talent that’s there and here’s why I say it: It’s ice time.
“How you manage players’ ice time is so important, but when is it too much? When is it too much focused on Auston Matthews? When is it too much focused on (John) Tavares, Mitch Marner, William Nylander?”
Wanting to see the bench boss gone has become a common refrain these days amongst fans with the team slumping out of the gate with a record of 6-5-2 heading into Friday night’s game against the Calgary Flames.
“This team is in a position as a core group that could win a championship,” the former Montreal Canadiens all-star continued.
“But I’m sorry, where’s the defensive structure? That’s all coaching, that’s all preparation, that’s getting guys to buy in.
“If you are practising it and you are preaching it and you can’t get players to buy in, that’s a completely separate issue. So, all fingers go back to the coaching.”
Subban then contrasted the Leafs’ reliance on its stars to what the Vegas Golden Knights did on their Stanley Cup championship run earlier this year.
“We saw the Vegas Golden Knights say after they won a championship we feel like we can play another playoff run,” he said. “Well, why is that? They got four deep lines, they got deep defence … they got depth on their team.
“They roll four lines, they don’t overplay anybody and that’s why they’re winning team, that’s why everybody is engaged.”
While getting that depth might be more of an issue for general manager Brad Treliving, who is handcuffed by the salary cap, Subban reiterated that the Leafs main problem is with its structure and that it all falls on Keefe.
“It’s time for Sheldon Keefe to go it’s time to get this team defensively structured properly and get guys to buy into playing winning hockey.”
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