Ron Wilson

was introduced yesterday as the new coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, less than a month after he was fired by the San Jose Sharks.

Wilson, 53, appeared at a news conference at Toronto's Air Canada Centre after signing a 4-year deal.

Wilson was fired May 12 by San Jose after the Sharks lost to Dallas in the second round of the playoffs. He succeeds Paul Maurice, who was fired last month after missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

"I'm the happiest person in the National Hockey League today," Wilson said. "I'm fulfilling a dream.

"Obviously if you lose your job in the league, you often wonder if you'll get another opportunity. The furthest thing from my mind at any point in my hockey career was that I would have an opportunity - ever - to coach a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs with their incredible history."

Wilson also has coached the Anaheim Ducks and Washington Capitals. He spent parts of three seasons as a player with the Leafs in the 1970s. His NHL coaching record is 518-446-127.

The Maple Leafs finished 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 36-35-11 record last season, missing a playoff spot by 11 points.

In other NHL news:

* Marc Crawford was fired as coach of the Los Angeles Kings after his team finished with the fewest points in the Western Conference. He spent two seasons with the team and had a year left on his contract.


* The United States said it would select the 12 players for its Olympic basketball team prior to training camp in Las Vegas later this month. Originally, the team was to have potentially 16 players in camp and cut down to 12 on June 30.

* Sheila Taormina's Olympic bid was officially accepted by U.S. modern pentathlon officials, making her the first woman to qualify in three different sports. Taormina won gold in 1996 as part of a swim relay and competed in the triathlon in 2000 and 2004.

Sport Stops

* About 200 people filled the pews of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore for the funeral of Jim McKay, the venerable host of ABC's "Wide World of Sports" who died Saturday at 86 at his Maryland farm.

* British welterweight Ricky Hatton rejected an approach for a September bout against Oscar De La Hoya. Hatton beat Juan Lazcano on May 24 to retain his IBO light welterweight title and is not expected to fight again until November.

* Former world cycling champion Tom Boonen is under investigation for cocaine possession, according to a prosecutor in the Belgian city of Turnhout. *