Leafs Reward Wilson With ‘Red Ryder,’ New Deal
The Toronto Maple Leafs have rewarded Ron Wilson with a contract extension despite the team’s absence from the playoffs in his three seasons at the helm.
Wilson, who among active coaches stands first in all-time wins with 637 and all-time games coached with 1,372, has agreed to a new deal with the Leafs, general manager Brian Burke confirmed via email to ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun on Sunday.
Details weren’t disclosed. The 56-year-old Wilson is in the final season of a four-year contract.
“He came! He came!” Wilson tweeted Sunday morning, presumably referring to Santa. “Remember saying that as a little kid? Well he did: I got a new Red Ryder BB gun and a contract extension!”
The Maple Leafs sit second in the Northeast Division at 18-13-4 and sixth in the Eastern Conference with 40 points.
Wilson was hired by the Leafs in June 2008, less than a month after he was fired by the San Jose Sharks.
Wilson, 119-120-42 with the Maple Leafs, has an NHL career coaching record of 637-566-169.
Wilson also has coached the Anaheim Ducks and Washington Capitals.
Drafted as a player by Toronto in 1975, Wilson, a former defenseman, spent parts of three seasons with the Leafs before playing four seasons with the Minnesota North Stars.
Wilson tweeted Friday that what he wanted for Christmas was a new contract from Burke.
“This Xmas could be better if Santa stuffs a certain piece of paper in my stocking. whatcouldthatbe,” Wilson posted.