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Wilson Named Head Coach of Maple Leafs

Tuesday, 10.06.2008 / 1:49 PM / Press Releases
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Wilson Named Head Coach of Maple Leafs
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The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Tuesday that Ron Wilson has been named the 27th head coach in the club’s history. Wilson previously held the NHL head coaching duties with Anaheim, Washington, and most recently San Jose for parts of the past five seasons.

Ron has a very proven track record in this league,” said Cliff Fletcher, general manager of the Maple Leafs. “He is an innovative coach that consistently gets his team to perform at a high level. He works exceptionally well with both young players and all-star caliber veterans. We look forward to having Ron’s vast coaching expertise and knowledge as we look to bring a new culture to our hockey club.”

Under Wilson’s guidance the San Jose Sharks are the only NHL team to have won at least one playoff round in each of the past four years. In his four full seasons behind the Sharks bench, the team advanced to the Western Conference Final for the first time ever in 2004, and reached the Conference Semifinals in 2006, 2007 and 2008. His Sharks teams garnered two Pacific Division championships (2004 and 2008); twice finished second in their division, and twice posted the second-best point total in the conference. Since 2003-04, no team has appeared in more Stanley Cup playoff rounds (nine) other than the Stanley Cup champion Red Wings (10). Wilson’s team had the third-most NHL playoff series victories (five) behind Detroit (seven) and Anaheim (six) during that time.

With a record of 206-134-45 (W-L-O/T) Wilson surpassed Darryl Sutter as the Sharks’ all-time wins leader on March 1, 2008. He is also the team’s leader in post-season games coached with a 28-24 mark in 52 playoff games.

Wilson coached the Washington Capitals from 1997 until 2002 where he compiled a record of 192-167-51. His tenure in the United State’s capital was highlighted by the team’s only trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 1998.

Prior to spending five seasons with the Capitals, Wilson had served as the first head coach of the expansion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1993, and he led the team to the post-season for the very first time in 1996-97.

In 12 NHL full seasons (minimum 82 games in a season) as head coach, Wilson’s teams have reached the post-season eight times; won four division titles; won one playoff conference title; reached at least 90 points seven times; reached at least 100 points four times; reached at least 40 wins seven times; and reached 50 wins once (51 in 2006-07, which is a Sharks record).

Throughout his professional and amateur career, Wilson has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with USA Hockey. He led Team USA to the gold medal in 1996 at the inaugural World Cup of Hockey and he coached the team again at the 2004 tournament. Wilson also coached the U.S. National Team at the 1994 and 1996 World Championships where his teams finished fourth and third respectively. Wilson also served as head coach for Team USA at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.

Wilson, 53, was a seventh-round selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs (132nd overall) in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft. He made his NHL debut by playing in 13 games for Toronto in 1977-78, followed by 46 games in 1978-79 and five games in 1979-80. He recorded seven goals and 15 assists to go along with six penalty minutes in 64 total games with the blue and white. He recorded a goal and three assists in six career Maple Leafs playoff games. In 117 career NHL games as a player with Toronto and Minnesota, Wilson recorded 26 goals and 67 assists for 93 points.

Wilson is one of 15 individuals that have both played for the Maple Leafs and then went on to coach at least one game for the Original Six franchise.

Born in Windsor, Ontario, Ron is the son of Larry Wilson and the nephew of Johnny Wilson, both former players on Stanley Cup winning teams from Detroit.

Regular Season Coaching Stats
Playoff Stats
Year
Team
G
W
L
T
OTL
PTS
%
1993-94
Anaheim
84
33
46
5
--
71
0.423
1994-95
Anaheim
48
16
27
5
--
37
0.385
1995-96
Anaheim
82
35
39
8
--
78
0.476
1996-97
Anaheim
82
36
33
13
--
85
0.518
1997-98
Washington
82
40
30
12
--
92
0.561
1998-99
Washington
82
31
45
6
--
68
0.415
1999-00
Washington
82
44
24
12
2
102
0.622
2000-01
Washington
82
41
27
10
4
96
0.585
2001-02
Washington
82
36
33
11
2
85
0.518
2002-03
San Jose
57
19
25
7
6
51
0.447
2003-04
San Jose
82
43
21
12
6
104
0.634
2005-06
San Jose
82
44
27
0
11
99
0.604
2006-07
San Jose
82
51
26
0
5
107
0.652
2007-08
San Jose
82
49
23
0
10
108
0.659
NHL TOTALS
1091
518
446
101
46
 
0.542
G
W
L
%
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
11
4
7
0.364
21
12
9
0.571
--
--
--
--
5
1
4
0.200
6
2
4
0.333
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
17
10
7
0.588
11
6
5
0.545
11
6
5
0.545
13
6
7
0.460
95
47
48
0.490

Top 5 Active NHL Coaching Rankings (End of 2007-08 season):

COACH

WINS

Mike Keenan

626

Bryan Murray

620

RON WILSON

518

Jacques Martin

517

Jacques Lemaire

500

Marc Crawford

470

Ken Hitchcock

470

COACH

GAMES

Mike Keenan

1304

Bryan Murray

1239

Jacques Martin

1098

RON WILSON

1091

Jacques Lemaire

1049

Marc Crawford

987

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