The Toronto Maple Leafs have found a replacement for Dave Hakstol, who recently left the organization to become the first head coach of the Seattle Kraken. Toronto has hired Dean Chynoweth as an assistant coach after he spent the last three seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes. Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe released a short statement:
After spending time with Dean, it became clear that his knowledge, passion and personality would make him the right fit. We’re fortunate to add someone of his quality and experience to our staff.
Chynoweth, 52, has a long history in the WHL, as a head coach, general manager and even franchise owner. He also served in the NHL with the New York Islanders for three seasons and has experience as a head coach in the AHL. All of that coaching experienced followed a long playing career, which included stops with the Islanders and Boston Bruins. The tough-guy defenseman racked up 667 penalty minutes in his 241-game career.
It’s the defense that he’ll be responsible for in Toronto, given he is replacing Hakstol on the staff. The team has taken a few big steps forward in that regard over the last few seasons with the additions of T.J. Brodie and Jake Muzzin, but will obviously need to continue to develop their young options to fill out the depth chart.