Keefe coaching the Toronto Marlies in 2018.
|Occupation||Ice hockey coach, player|
|General manager||Kyle Dubas|
|Team||Toronto Maple Laughs|
|Previous team(s)||Toronto Marlies|
|Years as NHL player||2000–2005|
|Years as a coach||2006–present|
|Years as an NHL coach||2019–present|
|Years with current team||2019–present|
Sheldon Keefe (born September 17, 1980), is a Canadian professional ice hockey coach and former player. He is the current head coach of the Toronto Maple Laughs of the National Hockey League. His younger brother Adam Keefe is the current head coach of the Belfast Giants of the EIHL.
In the 1998–99 season with the Toronto St. Michael's Majors and the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League, Keefe scored over 100 points, and was named the OHL Rookie of the Year, over Jason Spezza and Brad Boyes. Keefe was then selected 47th overall, in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft as the second choice of the Tampa Bay Lightning and subsequently signed a three year contract with the team. In the 1999–2000 OHL season, Keefe led the OHL in scoring and set a Colts franchise record for most points in a season in the process, posting 121 points (48 goals, 73 assists) in 66 games. During that season's playoffs, Keefe led the Colts to a seven-game victory over the Plymouth Whalers to claim the only OHL championship in Colts history. Keefe and the Colts drew national attention for their on- and off-ice behaviour which called into question the character of the players. Upon winning the OHL championship, Keefe, as captain of the Colts, infamously refused to shake the hand of league commissioner David Branch, telling him, "this must burn your ass." At the Memorial Cup, the team walked out on a customary banquet, threatened members of the opposing Rimouski Oceanic, and refused to shake hands with Branch, also serving as Canadian Hockey League president, during pregame ceremonies. Their season ended with a 6–2 loss to the Oceanic in the Memorial Cup final.
Keefe made his NHL debut on October 18, 2000 in his first professional season in 2000–01. He was shortly demoted to their American Hockey League team but was suspended without pay for failing to show up. In the summer of 2004, Keefe was acquired by the Phoenix Coyotes. He did not play a game for the Coyotes, but in the 2004–05 season Keefe played 4 games for the Utah Grizzlies (1995-2005). In September 2005, Keefe was re-signed as a restricted free agent by the Phoenix Coyotes and reassigned to San Antonio (AHL).
After just five professional seasons, Keefe opted to end his professional career and continue his career in hockey with coaching.
Pembroke Lumber Kings (2006–2012)
Keefe purchased the Pembroke Lumber Kings, a struggling Junior A franchise in the Central Canada Hockey League, in July 2003. After a knee injury effectively ended his career in the 2004–05 AHL season, Keefe began to assist Lumber Kings head coach and general manager Kevin Abrams. The Lumber Kings went 50–7–1–1 in the 2005–06 season and were ranked first overall in Canada before being upset in the second round of the playoffs by the Nepean Raiders. During the 2005–06 season, Keefe's then agent, David Frost, caused a wave of concern throughout the CJHL when he was found in an off limits area of an Ottawa arena. He was also filmed by CBC's The Fifth Estate which then ran a documentary showing Frost attending several Lumber Kings games, thus putting the league in a bad light considering the ongoing criminal investigation of a sexual nature against Frost at the time.
Keefe was named as head coach and general manager of the Lumber Kings on June 6, 2006 after Abrams was promoted to league commissioner. In 2006–07, his first year, he led the Lumber Kings to a 41–10–2–2 record and guided the team to its first league championship in 18 years. The Lumber Kings then defeated the St-Jérôme Panthers at the Fred Page Cup to claim the Eastern Canadian championship. At the national championship-deciding Royal Bank Cup, the Lumber Kings lost to the Aurora Tigers in overtime of the semi-final to end their season.
Over the next three seasons, the Lumber Kings continued to develop under Keefe, and culminated in three more championships for the Pembroke club.
As the 2010–2011 CCHL season began, the Lumber Kings were seeking a fifth straight league championship under Keefe's reign. The Lumber Kings went 51–9–2–2 and entered the postseason ranked 7th in Canada. After going undefeated through the first two rounds, they met the Cornwall Colts in the CCHL final. A hard-fought series saw the Lumber Kings prevail in six games to claim a fifth straight league championship, becoming the first team in league history to do so. The team proceeded to emerge victorious at the Fred Page Cup in a victory over the Longeuil College Francais and advanced to the Royal Bank Cup to compete for the national championship. After eliminating the Camrose Kodiaks in the semi-final, they met the Vernon Vipers to decide the Royal Bank Cup. The Vipers were seeking a third straight national title, and the Lumber Kings were looking for their first in the treasured history of the club. Keefe's squad battled to a 2–0 victory to become the 2011 Royal Bank Cup Champions.
Midway through the 2012-13 CCHL season, Keefe announced that he was leaving the Lumber Kings to become the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He finished his CCHL coaching career with a record of 285–95–12, establishing team records for most career wins and highest career win percentage. Keefe announced over Twitter on May 29, 2013 that he had sold the Pembroke Lumber Kings to former Calgary Flames player, and Eganville native Dale McTavish. On October 4, 2013, Keefe returned to Pembroke as he was honoured with a banner raised to the rafters of the Pembroke Memorial Centre in recognition of his era with the team.
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (2012–2015)
On December 3, 2012, Keefe was named the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Keefe quickly turned around a faltering Greyhounds team and transformed them into a powerhouse. In 2013–2014, his first full season as head coach, the Greyhounds were 44–17–7 and finished atop the West Division. They were swept in the second round of the playoffs at the hands of future NHL 1st overall draft pick Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters.
In 2014–2015, the Greyhounds' revitalization was complete, and the team posted their greatest season in franchise history, topping the OHL with a 54–12–2 record thanks to a league-leading 342 goals scored. Keefe was awarded the Matt Leyden Trophy as the OHL's top coach and was named the CHL Coach of the Year. Keefe's Greyhounds showed their strength in the playoffs, sweeping both the first and second round to enter the Western Conference final undefeated. However, it was McDavid and the Otters once again ending the Greyhounds' run, as the Otters topped the Greyhounds in six games.
Toronto Marlies (2015–2019)
After three successful seasons with the Greyhounds, on June 8, 2015, Keefe was named the head coach of the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, the top affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Keefe coached the Marlies to the franchise's first Calder Cup in 2018 and won a total of 199 games as an American Hockey League head coach. The next year, he signed a two year extension with the Marlies.
Toronto Maple Leafs (2019–present)
On November 20, 2019, Keefe was announced as the head coach replacement for Mike Babcock after Babcock was relieved of his duties by Maple Leafs' president Brendan Shanahan. The following day, Keefe signed a three-year deal with the Maple Leafs. In Keefe's first 20 games as head coach of the Maple Leafs, the team posted a 15–4–1 record, the best start of any head coach in Toronto's 102-year history.
|1998–99||Toronto St. Michael's Majors||OHL||38||37||37||74||80||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||49||4||0||4||38||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||39||6||7||13||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||37||2||5||7||24||—||—||—||—||—|
() Replaced midseason
() Midseason replacement
|PLK||2011–12||62||32||24||—||4||2||70||—||—||—||.565||Lost in second round|
6 playoff appearances
|SOO||2012–13||68||36||26||3||3||78||—||—||—||.574||Lost in first round|
|SOO||2013–14||68||44||17||2||5||95||—||—||—||.699||Lost in second round|
|SOO||2014–15||68||54||12||0||2||110||—||—||—||.809||Lost in third round|
|Total||204||134||55||5||10||—||—||—||.694||3 playoff appearances|
|TOR||2015–16||76||54||16||5||1||114||15||8||7||.750||Lost in third round|
|TOR||2016–17||76||42||29||4||1||89||11||6||5||.586||Lost in second round|
|TOR||2017–18||76||54||18||2||2||112||20||15||5||.737||Won Calder Cup|
|TOR||2018–19||76||39||24||9||4||91||13||9||4||.599||Lost in third round|
4 playoff appearances
- OHL All-Rookie Team (1999)
- OHL Rookie of the Year (1999)
- OHL Second All-Star Team (2000)
- OHL Top Scorer (2000)
- Canadian Major Junior First All-Star Team (2000)
- Memorial Cup Tournament All-Star Team (2000)
- "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
- "Boyes bronzed Rookie All-Star, Keefe is Rookie of the Year". Canoe Network, SLAM Sports, Canadian Hockey League. April 29, 1999. Archived from the original on September 26, 2005. Retrieved June 8, 2006.
- "Keefe signs rookie contract with Lightning". Lowell Sun. Massachusetts. September 22, 2000.
- "NHL Players, SHELDON KEEFE 28". National Hockey League. Retrieved June 8, 2006.[dead link]
- Cox, Damien (March 27, 2015). "Long associated with David Frost and Mike Danton, Sheldon Keefe began to reach out for a new image, first through social media, rather than living in the shadows". Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "Suspended". Clovis News Journal. New Mexico. March 18, 2001.
- "Hockey". Dover New Philadelphia Times Reporter. Ohio. July 13, 2004. p. 10.
- "NHL Player Search, Sheldon Keefe". Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum, Legends of Hockey. Retrieved June 8, 2006.
- "Home, NHL, Coyotes, playersbio, Sheldon Keefe". TSN.ca, Bell Globemedia. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved June 8, 2006.
- "Honouring Sheldon Keefe". Pembroke Daily Observer. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "Former hockey agent David Frost driven out of Kingston". Toronto Sun. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- "CJHL walks Frosty tightrope". canada.com. Archived from the original on January 16, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- Fusco, Anthony (June 8, 2015). "The 411 on New Marlies Head Coach Sheldon Keefe". thehockeywriters.com. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- Peplinskie, Tina (June 7, 2006). "Abrams leaves Lumber Kings, Sheldon Keefe will coach team". Pembroke Daily Observer.[permanent dead link]
- Peplinskie, Tina (May 2, 2007). "LUMBER KINGS READY FOR ROYAL BANK CUP". hockeycanada.ca. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- "Soo Greyhounds' coach fired". Sudbury Star. December 3, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "Keefe tapped for National U18 team". Sault Star. Archived from the original on January 16, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "Sheldon Keefe named Hounds Head Coach". ontariohockeyleague.com. December 3, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- "Pembroke Lumber Kings sold to Dale McTavish". May 29, 2013.
- "A night to remember". Pembroke Daily Observer. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "Keefe hopes to push the right buttons". Sault Star. December 4, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "OHL Network". ontariohockeyleague.com. Archived from the original on November 18, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "CHL awards for Keefe, DeAngelo". Sault Star. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "OHL Network". ontariohockeyleague.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "Sheldon Keefe named head coach of the Toronto Marlies". mapleleafshotstove.com. June 8, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
- "Head Coach Sheldon Keefe Signed to Two-Year Extension With Marlies". nhl.com. May 28, 2019. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- "Maple Leafs fire head coach Mike Babcock - Sportsnet.ca". www.sportsnet.ca. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
- "Maple Leafs sign new coach Sheldon Keefe through 2022". sportsnet.ca. November 21, 2019.
- Horrobin, Jordan (January 6, 2020). "By The Numbers: Sheldon Keefe's Historic Start With Maple Leafs". Forbes. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
- "Pembroke Lumber Kings hockey team [CCHL] statistics and history at hockeydb.com". hockeydb.com. hockeyDB.com. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- "Soo Greyhounds hockey team [OHL] statistics and history at hockeydb.com". hockeydb.com. hockeyDB.com. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- "Toronto Marlies hockey team statistics and history at hockeydb.com". hockeydb.com. hockeyDB.com. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Eurohockey.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
| Head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs