Craig Berube's coaching record: Tracing the legacy of 32nd head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL: Preseason-St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks
Craig Berube's coaching record: Tracing the legacy of 32nd head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs are hiring Craig Berube as the club’s 32nd head coach, and ESPN reported. The news comes as the dust is still settling from the fallout of the Leafs’ early playoff exit and Sheldon Keefe’s subsequent firing.

From the beginning, Berube emerged as the frontrunner for the Leafs’ bench boss job. But what does Craig Berube bring to the table? Let’s take a look at Berube’s coaching track record.

Craig Berube cut his teeth as a coach with the Philadelphia Phantoms, the Philadelphia Flyers' AHL affiliate, in the mid-2000s. But early into the 2006-07 season, Berube got promoted to the Flyers’ staff amid an organizational shakeup.

Then, unexpectedly, then-GM Bob Clarke resigned with head coach Ken Hitchcock leaving soon after. The moves landed Berube as an assistant for the remainder of the season, eventually returning to the Phantoms for the 2007-08 season.

However, a poor start to the season prompted the Flyers to promote Berube as an assistant under John Stevens and Peter Laviolette. Craig Berube was named head coach when Laviolette left early in the 2013-14 season.

Berube’s short-lived stint as Flyers head coach saw him take Philly to the playoffs in 2014 before losing in the first round against the New York Rangers. After failing to make the playoffs the next season, the Flyers cut ties with Berube,

After landing the head coaching job of the Chicago Wolves, the St. Louis Blues’ AHL affiliate, Craig Berube was promoted to an associate role with the big club. He would take over the Blues’ head coaching role after the club fired Mike Yeo in November 2018.

Berube stayed on as the Blues’ head coach for the remainder of the season. The Blues were last overall in January before going on a franchise-record 11-game winning streak. The streak catapulted the Blues into the playoffs before going on a fabulous run, defeating the Boston Bruins in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Craig Berube and the Blues captured their first Cup in history. Unfortunately, Berube’s tenure in St. Louis failed to produce another significant result. Berube won the 2019 Jack Adams Award but was unable to lead the Blues past the second round since their 2019 championship.

The Blues missed the playoffs in 2022-23, leading to Berube’s dismissal 28 games into the 2023-24 season.

Craig Berube now a part of Toronto Maple Leafs’ history

As Berube takes over one of the most coveted head coaching positions in the NHL, heavy expectations fall square on his shoulders.

In the Auston Matthews era, the Leafs have made it past the first round only once. While former coaches Mike Babcock and Sheldon Keefe have shown considerable regular-season success, the biggest criticism has been the club’s inability to make a deep postseason run.

The last time the Maple Leafs made it to the Conference Finals was in 2002, losing to the Carolina Hurricanes. With Berube behind the bench, the Leafs hope he can lead one of the most talented teams in the league to a deep postseason run, culminating in the team’s first Cup since 1967.

While the coaching shakeup may only be the first shoe to drop during the Leafs’ offseason, expectations will be high for next season.

Only time will tell if Berube is the answer to the Leafs’ playoff woes.

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