SPORTS

Leafs coaching candidates: 6 to consider

01/07/2015 01:58 EST | Updated 03/09/2015 05:59 EDT
The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking for a new head coach after firing Randy Carlyle amid his fourth season on the job.

Assistant Peter Horachek was promoted Wednesday on an interim basis, becoming the 38th head coach in franchise history, but it’s unclear whether he’ll land the gig permanently.

Here’s a list of six possible candidates. Review their credentials and vote for your pick in the poll below.

All records are for regular season.

Peter Horachek

Age: 54

NHL head coaching experience: 26-36-4 as Florida’s interim man last season.

Pros: Knows team; more than 10 years as NHL assistant, another decade as minor-league head coach.

Cons: Little experience as NHL head coach; may be hurt by ties to Carlyle regime.

Mike Babcock

Age: 51

NHL head coaching experience: 505-270-19-114 in 12 seasons with Anaheim, Detroit.

Pros: Stanley Cup champ (Detroit, 2008), 2-time Olympic gold medallist.

Cons: Under contract with Red Wings until end of season; December report said he was close to extension.

Dan Bylsma

Age: 44

NHL head coaching experience: 400-252-117 in parts of six seasons with Pittsburgh.

Pros: NHL coach of the year for 2010-11 season, Stanley Cup champ in 2009.

Cons: Since Cup win, 4-5 playoff series record with star-studded Penguins.

Dale Hunter

Age: 54

NHL head coaching experience: 30-23-7 as in-season hire with Washington in 2011-12.

Pros: Instilled defensive approach in run-and-gun Capitals, led them to second round of playoffs; played 19 NHL seasons; brother Mark Hunter is Leafs’ director of player personnel.

Cons: Conservative approach grated on Caps star Ovechkin, could do the same for Leafs’ Kessel; brother Mark Hunter is Leafs’ director of player personnel.

Dallas Eakins

Age: 47

NHL head coaching experience: 36-34-14 in parts of two seasons with Edmonton.

Pros: Former Leafs assistant; former head coach of Leafs’ AHL affiliate; at one time considered one of brightest young coaches in minors and next in line for Leafs’ job; young; media-savvy.

Cons: Promise unfulfilled in two brutal seasons with Edmonton; couldn’t get young Oilers to buy into defensive play.

Doug Gilmour

Age: 51

NHL head coaching experience: None.

Pros: One of most beloved Leafs players of all time; in third season as head coach of OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs; Toronto minor-league assistant briefly in 2008.

Cons: Virtually no coaching experience of any kind at pro level.

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