Toronto Maple Leafs Next Head Coach Odds: Hail to the Chief?

The Toronto Maple Leafs are once again searching for the head coach to help them snap the longest championship drought in hockey. Craig Berube opened as the wagering favorite, but Todd McLellan is now hot on his tail.

Publishing Editor
May 10, 2024 • 14:56 ET • 4 min read
Todd McClellan NHL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs were once again sent packing in the first round of the playoffs, this time in heartbreaking fashion via a Game 7 overtime goal off the stick of Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak. 

Head coach Sheldon Keefe, who produced just one playoff series win in his five-year tenure, answered for the defeat with his job. Now the Leafs will renew their search for the man who can lead the franchise to its first Stanley Cup since 1967.

While Craig Berube was the early frontrunner at FanDuel Canada to take over as the Leafs' bench boss, wild line movement on Friday morning has seen Todd McLellan leapfrog from +650 to -105.

Here's the latest look at the Maple Leafs' next head coach odds.

Toronto Maple Leafs next coach odds

Candidates FanDuel
Craig Berube -125
Todd McLellan -105
Dean Evason +850
Gerard Gallant +850
Jay Woodcroft +850
Rod Brind'Amour +1,100
Guy Boucher +1,300
Joel Quenneville +1,900
Bruce Boudreau +3,400
Darryl Sutter +3,400
Claude Julien +6,000

Odds as of 5-10

Favorite to become next Maple Leafs head coach

Craig Berube (-125)

Berube was let go by the St. Louis Blues earlier this year after six seasons behind the bench. He delivered the franchise its only Stanley Cup as an interim head coach in 2019, as he famously took the Blues from the bottom of the Western Conference to championship glory. 

The Maple Leafs are not as far off from the Cup as the Blues were in 2018-19, and the take-no-prisoners attitude from the former NHL enforcer could be the shot in the arm the Leafs are looking for.

Berube opened at +185 and dropped all the way to -160 before McLellan's latest surge. 

Todd McLellan (-105)

McLellan is now neck and neck with Berube on the board, and the former NHL bench boss boasts no shortage of playoff experience. 

Following a successful Stanley Cup run in Detroit as an assistant under Mike Babcock, McLellan went on to lead the San Jose Sharks to six consecutive playoff appearances from 2008-2014 before coaching in Edmonton for four seasons and manning the Los Angeles Kings bench from 2019-2024.

Long shot to become next Maple Leafs head coach

Gerard Gallant (+470)

He's not exactly a true "long shot" but Gallant fits the bill as a head coach — with playoff pedigree — who is available.

Gallant was dispatched after only two seasons by the New York Rangers following a first-round playoff exit to the New Jersey Devils last year, but he took the Rangers to the conference final just one year earlier. He also led the Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season en route to a Jack Adams Award win.

The brusque, no-nonsense Gallant would be a departure from the soft-spoken, affable Keefe. If the Leafs are truly searching for a "new voice," then hiring Gallant makes sense.

Maple Leafs next head coach pick

Covers Writer Icon

Berube the smart play, Sutter a long shot

By Josh Inglis

My pick: Craig Berube (+125)
Pick made on 5/9 at 1:25 p.m.

There has already been a lot of money coming in on Craig Berube to be the new Maple Leafs head coach, as he opened at +185, quickly dropped to +150, and now sits at +125. If bettors can get to this number at +120 or better, it’s still worth it.

The people I’ve talked to, which are around this team daily, have said that Berube’s name is the one that comes up the most... and sometimes the only name: There are a lot of people on the list that still have coaching jobs and if the Leafs miss on Berube, the drop-off to the other potential unemployed candidates is significant. 

So why does Berube fit a club that has lost in the opening round in seven of the last eight years and will be on its third head coach since drafting Auston Matthews in 2016?

"He’s a different voice who preaches accountability," says former Leaf and Toronto sports media personality Carlo Colaiacovo, who played under Berube in Philadelphia.

"He’s brutally honest and prides himself in message-sending with his approach. He’s very hard on structure."

-Carlo Colaiacovo, former Maple Leaf and player under Berube

Berube would bring a 2018-19 Cup win with him to Toronto, which is not something many of the other top choices have.

Dean Evason has won one playoff round in five years in Minnesota before being fired this year after four straight first-round exits. Gerard Gallant has been fired three times mid-season and lost in the first round last year with the Rangers, who look to be better without him this year. 

If you’re looking for a real long shot, maybe try Darryl Sutter (opened +6,000) as long as he's +5,000 or better. I don’t agree with the play, but some sources have said that is a name they’ve heard around the water cooler.

Toronto wants a proven winner who can preach accountability for a group that has become complacent with playoff disappointment. Berube checks a lot of boxes and is the name to shop around on within this market.

Other Maple Leafs offseason props

Some other sportsbooks are offering additional offseason props on the Maple Leafs, including:

  • Brendan Shanahan to keep his job as team president (Yes -105/No -135)
  • Where Mitch Marner will play his next game (Leafs -5,000, Golden Knights +1,100, Oilers +1,600)
  • Where Steven Stamkos will play next season (FanDuel has +3,400 for it to be Toronto)

Depending on how long the head coach search takes —  by some reports, it could be sooner than later — and what transpires in the rest of the NHL playoffs, don't be surprised if names like Rod Brind'Amour pop up in the next head coach wagering as well.

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