Randy Carlyle could only speak for the moment when asked about his future as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, addressing the media on Tuesday for the first time after his teams season ended short of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. “Im here today,” he said when asked whether he would be back with the club for the 2014-15 season. “In this business you take on the responsibility of wins and losses, he continued. “You put your best foot forward and try to be honest and forthright with people and thats what were trying to do as a hockey club.” Carlyles future has been the subject of great speculation in the wake of a disappointing season for the Leafs. A March free-fall saw the team plummet from third in the Eastern Conference to a 38-36-8 finish, good for the eighth-worst record in the League. The teams first order of business once the off-season began was to appoint former NHL Director of Player of Safety and Hockey Hall-of-Famer Brendan Shanahan as the teams new president. While Carlyle could not comment on any impending changes under Shanahan – he is yet to formally meet with his new boss – he summed up the free-fall as a symptom of how the team played throughout the year. “The last 30 days of the season was the tell-tale story for our group,” Carlyle said. “The things that we were doing in the beginning and winning came to fruition in the final 30 days.” He pointed specifically to the teams inability to capitalize on a strong road trip to California in early March as a detrimental turning point in the season. After winning two of three road games against the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings in early March, the Leafs returned to the east coast, losing three games in four nights and kicking off what would become an eight-game stretch without earning a single point in the standings. “It seemed we played well enough to earn some respect,” Carlyle said of the California trip. “Then we seemed to have lost our mojo.” From then on, the teams confidence seemed to drop every time they conceded an early goal or did not perform up to expectations. “The first goal would go in and the shoulders would slump, that was the tell-tale sign,” he said. “Our response was very minimal.” The 57-year-old Carlyle has spent parts of three seasons with the team, taking over from previous Leafs head coach Ron Wilson with 18 games remaining in the 2011-12 season. Carlyle would lead the team to a 6-9-3 finish in his first year. His most successful year at the helm would be the following season when he led the Leafs to a 26-17-5 mark in strike shortened 2012-13 and, more importantly, the franchises first playoff berth since 2003-04. They would ultimately suffer a shocking defeat in Game 7 of their opening round series, surrendering a 4-1, third period lead in the final 11 minutes of regulation and falling in overtime to the Boston Bruins. Speaking to the teams 2012-13 success, Carlyle stated that he and the teams management were confident going into the season, but that they may have misjudged the teams strength. “We had been a competitive group the year previous and we felt this group was ready to take the next step,” Carlyle said Tuesday. “It didnt materialize.” Speaking to the teams defensive posture, Carlyle didnt see a consistent effort. “You have to play and you have to compete on the defensive side of the puck with will and commitment,” Carlyle said. “We didnt do that consistently.” “Were not asking players to do something they havent done before,” he added when asked about players molding to his coaching strategy. Carlyle currently has one year remaining on the three-year deal he signed after taking over for Wilson in 2012. He stopped short of offering up explanations for how to turn the Leafs fortunes around, capitulating with: "For now, we dont have the ultimate answer to give you and were embarassed by what just went down." Jim Brown Jersey
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.C. -- Authorities say the brother of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White has been shot and killed outside a South Carolina nightclub.The Washington Capitals solidified their front office and coaching positions on Monday, with assistant general manager Brian MacLellan promoted to the GMs office and former Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz taking over behind the bench. MacLellan is entering his third season with the club, spending the last two as assistant general manager after spending several years with the teams AHL-affiliate Hershey Bears. MacLellan spent 10 years in the NHL as a player, including winning the 1989 Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames. He becomes the sixth GM in team history. "We are extremely pleased to name Brian MacLellan the teams general manager and welcome Barry Trotz to Washington as the Capitals coach,” said owner Ted Leonsis in a release. “After conducting an extensive search for a general manager, we determined that Brian was the best candidate to help us reach our ultimate goal, winning the Stanley Cup. We have witnessed his abilities firsthand, and we have tremendous respect for how he manages people and situations. We feel he has relevant, in-depth knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of our franchise and will be forceful in addressing them. Brian always has displayed tremendous professionalism, passion and commitment to the Capitals. He has his own unique approach, and we are confident in his abilities to lead this organization to new heights." McLellan is also looking forward to assuming his new position. “I am extremely honored and excited about the opportunity I have been given with the Capitals,” said MacLellan in a release. &ldquuo;Over the course of my career I have worked in acquiring the necessary skills to excel in this position.dddddddddddd We have built a solid foundation, and I look forward to implementing my ideas to get us back to competing for the Stanley Cup. Also, it is a great pleasure to welcome Barry to Washington as the new head coach of the Capitals. Barrys teams have always played with structure, discipline and intensity, and I look forward to him leading us to success for many years to come.” Trotz was fired by the Nashville Predators at the end of the season after 16 years as the only head coach in franchise history. Trotz coached 1,196 games with Nashville, second only to Gregg Popovich of the NBAs San Antonio Spurs for longest active coaching tenure in the four major sports. Trotz says he welcomes his new challenge. “I am very excited to join the Washington Capitals and want to thank Ted Leonsis, Dick Patrick and Brian MacLellan for this opportunity,” said Trotz in the release. “This is a great organization with a strong foundation and a tremendous fan base. I look forward to working with this group of talented players and the quality front office staff this team has assembled.” Trotz is the only NHL coach to make the playoffs with the same team in seven of eight seasons between 2003-04 and 2011-12 and becomes the Capitals 17th head coach. The Capitals fired head coach Adam Oates and did not renew the contract of general manager George McPhee at the end of the season after the team missed the playoffs with a record of 38-30-14. ' ' '