Mike Babcock was your most talked about free-agent this NHL off-season. Today, the NHL’s best head coach, decided on his destination. The task is a large one: head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs; the team that is considered to be the center of the hockey universe. It has been reported that Babcock will be earning $50 million over the next eight seasons, but the money should be no issue for the richest hockey franchise on earth, since there is no salary-cap for coaches.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have struggled with consistency for many seasons. However, if there is one singular coach able to instantly change that culture it would be Mike Babcock. In 12 seasons as coach of the Anaheim Ducks and Red Wings, Babcock is 527-285-119, with 19 ties.
He is also the only coach in the Triple Gold Club, as he’s won a Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold, and World Championship Gold. No other coach has won all three.
As it stands now, two of the weakest NHL franchises in Canada: The Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs have made the most significant off-season changes to right the ship. It will be interesting to witness how quickly these two franchises become competitive again. Regardless, both franchises have made extremely bold and necessary organizational moves. I know, I have a permanent smile on my face.
Has there ever been as much media and fan attention to the hiring of a coach?
I don’t think so. I do hope the success level stays the same for Babcock. If he wanted to prove he is the best this is the team to prove it with… Congratulations, to the fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs for winning the Mike Babcock sweepstakes!