Christmas came a little bit early this year for Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson.
And not only did it come early, but it came granting him his Christmas wish.
On Friday, Wilson couldn’t contain his giddiness over his early Christmas “gift” and took to Twitter to express how excited he was that Santa—ahem—Brian Burke gave him a contract extension.
At 7:49 a.m., Wilson posted this to his Twitter account, @coachrw63: “‘He came! He came!’ Remember saying that as a little kid? Well he did: I got a new Red Ryder BB gun and a contract extension!”
Not a bad gift and all, and Wilson is certainly deserving of it. The Leafs entered the holiday break sixth in the Eastern Conference with 40 points.
While the details of the contract are unknown at this time, the notion that Wilson will be sticking around in Toronto is sure to enrage plenty of Leafs fans. Despite the team’s early success this season, and the fact that they are currently in position to end their six-year playoff drought, there are more than a handful of fans who believe that Wilson isn’t the right man for the job in Toronto.
After all, you would think that a guy must be doing a pretty terrible job if he has his own “Fire Ron Wilson” Facebook page.
But how could you possibly fire a guy who is currently in charge of a club that is 18-13-4? Sure, the Leafs are a mediocre 4-4-2 in their last 10, and fans always seem to feel slighted if they don’t have the top special teams units in the league (for what it’s worth, Toronto ranks third on the power play, but they are dead last on the penalty kill). But the fact of the matter is that the Leafs are in a position they haven’t been in since the new millennium: relevancy.
They have two of the top six scorers in the League in Phil Kessel (second, 41 points) and Joffrey Lupul (sixth, 38 points). The team is averaging nearly an additional half-goal per game compared to last season—2.60 goals per game last season, 3.06 per game this season—good for seventh in the League, and they finally have a reliable netminder in James Reimer, who gives them a chance to win every night.
There’s not much else Wilson can do to win over the haters. And the haters better get used to seeing him behind the bench, because if Toronto keeps up their winning ways, Wilson will be at the helm for quite some time.