“I’m more moveable now. I’m going to work somewhere”
Mike Babcock speaks to rumours of him joining the Maple Leafs as Head Coach.
@EmilyTorrens WHAT?! My day is actually ruined now. What does this mean???
The Detroit Red Wings haven’t lived up to Hockeytown’s Cup-contending standards for the last half-decade, but in Toronto, they’d gladly accept these piddly things called “playoff appearances.”
That’s part of the reason the Maple Leafs could be interested in lame-duck Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. (Babcock winning two Olympic gold medals for Team Canada might have something to do with it, too. He also today was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award.)
Before you stomp your foot and say it’s not possible for Babs to bolt, consider a few things:
■ He has one year left on his Wings contract and doesn’t plan to negotiate an extension this summer. Drew Sharp posited that he’swaiting to see what moves the Wings make and whether they really can be contenders for the Cup before taking a new contract.
■ Brendan Shanahan, Babcock’s former player with the Wings, is the Leafs’ new president.
■ Babcock is a hero in Canada, having won a world championship and world junior championship for the country, in addition to those two Olympics.
Dave Feschuk, a columnist with the Toronto Star, wrote today that the Leafs should try to lure Babcock to Toronto ASAP.
“Luckily for the Leafs, there appears to be enough disharmony in Motown to suggest Babcock would be more than keen to listen to out-of-the-box pitches,” Feschuk wrote. “We all saw Babcock lapping up the spotlight in Sochi earlier this year: He relished his time at the centre of the hubbub created by Canada’s national team. His stellar work at the Olympics, on the bench and on the podium, is only proof he’d be the perfect daily spokesman for the country’s most fussed-over NHL team.
“But this isn’t simply about media savvy. Babcock is a better fit for this Leafs roster than (Randy) Carlyle ever will be. ... What else could the Leafs offer Babcock other than a possibly impossible task? Well, he’s making a reported $2 million in Detroit; the Leafs, who have money above all things, could heap far more on his annual pay stub. Those who know him say he’d also like more say in organizational decisions, which can’t happen in a Detroit hierarchy in which the accomplished Ken Holland runs the show.”
So that’s the view from the Great White North. What are your thoughts?
Note: Red Wings players Danny DeKeyser and Justin Abdelkader didn’t score, but they helped Team USA defeat Germany 3-1 in a pre-tournament game at the IIHF World Championship in Belarus. DeKeyser had a minor penalty in the third period, while Abdelkader registered a -1. Team USA will begin tournament play Friday against Belarus.
This man is the best coach in the game right now. What a treat he must be for Detroit players and fans
I just to watch a competitive hockey team that makes the playoffs consistently to reward my obsession with all things Maple Leafs