Firing Sheldon Keefe won't get to heart of Leafs' problem

In light of the Maple Leafs' recent struggles, there have been calls for head coach Sheldon Keefe or general manager Kyle Dubas to be fired but if the roster and player's performances are the problem, then changing bench bosses won't solve the issue in Toronto.

Video Transcript

ARUN SRINIVASAN: I mean, calling for Dubas to be fired. Yeah, well, I don't know. I mean, like, it is one of the four palatable options the Leafs have. Whether it's fire him, fire Sheldon Keefe, which probably is a more proactive response. It probably is more likely generated media results.

You make them trade for Jacob Chychrun and hope and pray that it sort of papers over the number of defensive holes the team has. Or you stay put and realize that it only has been 10 games after all. So I think there are a number of options to be evaluated, for sure. But the idea that firing Dubas untenable. I mean, it's on the table. And I'm--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Should it really just be Dubas too. Like Dubas-- even Sheldon Keefe, who like, again, has this great record in the regular season as head coach of the Leafs. Probably the best of any Leafs coach. I could understand the arguments why firing him probably isn't the best thing to do.

But also like the players. This is on the players. It's been on the players for, like, how many years. But like, who do you move? Do you move Mitch Marner? Do you move-- is William Nylander going to have to fall on the sword? Like, if you go that route, like, you're going to have to give up somebody from that core, right?

Like, I don't know. Like, I just-- I don't wanted to make it seem as if like it's like shuffling decks on the-- shuffling, like, chairs on the deck of the Titanic, but like, unless you go towards the heart of the problem, I don't think you're going to get anything done.

And the more I really think about it, the more you look at the scene, the more we look at the last few years, like, I'm starting to wonder myself if, like, letting go of Sheldon Keefe or Kyle Dubas, not saying those things are actually going to happen, I'm starting to wonder if those are-- the actual solutions for this team. I don't-- I'm not convinced. I'm not sure.

ARUN SRINIVASAN: Right. And I don't think it would be in the Leafs' best interest to make a reactionary move, including a trade. But yeah, I don't know. Like, what does that constitute, right? Like, I think if you're going to also make a move and you're trying to get fair value, that also leaves a problem.

Like, let's say Auston Matthews is untouchable, full stop. But then short of that, if everyone's available for trade, well, what would a Mitch Marner trade look like? Like, for example, I sort of floated this in the group chat today, but would Colorado trade Mikko Rantanen for Mitch Marner?

No way in hell, right? Would try to get a 33-year-old, soon to be 34-year-old Patrick Kane, who has no defensive responsibility whatsoever for Mitch Marner extract equal value or close to getting maximum value? No way at all.

I mean, William Nylander's contract is quite good. It's just under $7 million a year. And you're-- John Tavares has been arguably the least best player this year, but you're also not going to get the return on value for a player who was just injured at age 32 season, who's not a plus skater to begin with. Like, what does that look like? I think all the moves are either going to be reactionary for the player side.

So in order to sort of get those immediate results, firing Keefe is probably the most palatable option to for a quick change now. But I don't know how you guys feel about it. Maybe I'm falling in love with the Leafs' player evaluation. I know all sort of fans and journalists sometimes are guilty of overrating their own players. But I just don't know where the value comes from a trade side.