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Maple Leafs hire Craig Berube as head coach

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The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Friday that they hired former St. Louis Blues bench boss Craig Berube as their head coach.

Berube's contract is for four years, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

The 58-year-old led the Blues to a Stanley Cup in 2019. He replaced Mike Yeo 19 games into that campaign and sparked an incredible turnaround, as the club was in last place around midseason. He was named a Jack Adams Award finalist that season.

Berube guided St. Louis to the postseason in each of the next three seasons, losing in Round 1 in 2020 and 2021, and Round 2 in 2022. The team missed the playoffs in 2023 and fired him after a 13-14-1 start to the 2023-24 campaign.

His only other NHL head coaching experience came with the Philadelphia Flyers from 2013-15, failing to advance past the first round of the playoffs.

Berube enjoyed a 1,054-game NHL playing career from 1986-2003 as an enforcer, racking up 159 points and 3,149 penalty minutes - the latter being the seventh most all time. The Calahoo, Alberta, native played 40 games for the Leafs during the 1991-92 season.

Berube takes over for Sheldon Keefe, whom the Leafs fired after five seasons on the job.

His No. 1 task will be attempting to get Toronto over the hump in the playoffs. The Maple Leafs have made the postseason eight years in a row - tied for the longest active streak in the league - but only have one series victory to show for it. The franchise hasn't won a Stanley Cup since 1967.

Berube is the 32nd head coach in franchise history and the first hired during Brad Treliving's tenure as general manager.

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