Maple Leafs have big name possibilities to replace Carlyle

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Maple Leafs have big name possibilities to replace Carlyle
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Was there a Mike Babcock bat signal in the Toronto sky Tuesday morning?

It’s hard to think that the most coveted pending free agent in NHL coaching history, who currently happens to be the Detroit head coach, wouldn’t be move the needle to some degree with the firing of Randy Carlyle as the Toronto bench boss.

Either way, it could be some time before Toronto makes a move for a full-time guy to coach the team. Currently the Leafs said that Peter Horachek and Steve Spott will at very least coach Toronto’s next game against Washington.

As for the rest of the season, says Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis in a news conference with reporters Tuesday on whether the team will finish the year with interim coaches:

"It's possible but we haven't made a decision on that."

Considering the absurd amount of coaching talent out there – Babcock potentiality aside, it’s likely the Leafs while have a treasure trove of successful coaches to choose from.

Tweets the great Bob McKenzie:

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He’s right, because there are a ton of guys with experience of either winning a Stanley Cup or going to a Cup Final. 

You’ve got Peter DeBoer. You’ve got Dan Bylsma (who actually could be great for that market). If you want to go completely bonkers and off the wall, you can bring John Tortorella to Toronto – mostly for our own comedy. Though Torts in Vancouver and New York provided enough absurdity to last a lifetime. Also, what’s the difference between Torts and Carlyle?

Both are kinda wacky dudes who have won Stanley Cups. The gain would be net-zero. 

There’s enough bleeding from the Toronto market into Ottawa to think Paul MacLean won’t be a candidate – unless Nonis is a Taylor Swift fan.

They loved Dallas Eakins when he was the Marlies coach. Bring him back … if all else fails. 

Guy Boucher? Another guy with a solid coaching acumen out there. 

Nonis said they would try to further figure out what to do moving forward with the coaches “over the next couple of days” and that this was more about just making a change to get rid of Carlyle. 

If the move is truly about wooing Babcock, then get used to Horachek and Spott behind the bench for the rest of the season. Horachek was the interim coach with the Florida Panthers after the team fired Kevin Dineen last season. Talk about an upgrade of interim coaching jobs for Horachek if this is the case.

The former Nashville associate is mostly remembered for his jumping up and down on an Edmonton bench after a dumb Sergei Kostitsyn line change against the Oilers in 2013.

That’s him on the far side pointing. The whole building shook when he did that. He's an intense man. 

Anyway, he has interviewed for head jobs in the past, but it’s hard to believe the Leafs would be satisfied if any name they pick isn’t a big one. And they’ll certainly have a bunch of options. Even for Toronto, this should be a hard choice to mess up. 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!