Strange timing on a Friday night, but inevitable.
Ron Wilson's 3 1/2 season reign as head coach of the Maple Leafs ended tonight when he was dismissed by GM Brian Burke. The Leafs have lost 10 of 11 games and fallen to 11th place in the conference after sitting in the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference as late as Feb. 23.
The Leafs haven't made the playoffs since 2004. Randy Carlyle, fired as coach of the Anaheim Ducks this season, may be the replacement.
Hired by then interim GM Cliff Fletcher just months before Burke took over the Leafs, Wilson missed the playoffs the first three seasons he was behind the Leaf bench, and the club is likely headed for another non-playoff spring.
Wilson signed a contract extension before Christmas, which makes him unusual in being a coach who signed an extension and was fired in the same season.
Carlyle is expected to be behind the Leaf bench in Montreal tomorrow night. Wilson's latest loss came Wednesday night in Chicago, and its not clear why Burke waited two days to announce his firing.
When the Leafs lost their last home game on Tuesday to Florida, fans chanted "Fire Wilson" loudly and frequently.