Cronin leaves Northeastern to be Maple Leafs assistant

Greg Cronin has left Northeastern to become an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL team announced Monday.

The news was first reported by the Boston Herald in Monday’s edition.

“I want to thank Greg for the incredible work he has done on behalf of this university and our student-athletes,” Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby said in a statement. “Greg has been a tireless worker, both on and off the ice. He has taken our hockey program to new heights. He’s advanced our relationships with alumni and friends of the program. And he’s helped reshape our arena into one of the finest hockey venues in the nation.”

Cronin succeeded Bruce Crowder at Northeastern and led the program for six years, guiding the Huskies from three wins in his first year in 2005-06 to a 25-12-4 mark in 2008-09.

This past February, Cronin and assistant coach Albie O’Connell were suspended by the university after compliance officials discovered potential violations relating to excessive telephone and text-messaging contact during recruitment of student-athletes.

Sebastien Laplante will serve as the interim head coach and will be a candidate for the position, the school said. He will serve a suspension stemming from the recruiting violation at at the start of the upcoming season.

“We look forward to building upon our recent success,” Roby said. “We will move quickly in our search, but will be thorough.”