Toronto Maple Leafs: Mike Babcock to Decide Within a Week


Toronto Maple Leafs: Mike Babcock to Decide Within a Week

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If Toronto Maple Leafs fans are honest with themselves, the majority likely don’t believe Mike Babcock is going to be the next head coach. However, much like the NHL Draft Lottery, it’s getting to the point where you just want it over and done with.

Along those lines, the wait is nearly over. As reported by, Babcock is going to make his decision within the next week.

The current Detroit Red Wings coach confirmed his deadline, while talking to Darren Dreger of TSN. The interview took place at the IIHF World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.

Babcock said: “The decision date is going to be moved up. I’ll bet you by (May) 20, I’m going to know what I’m doing.”

With the deadline now confirmed, teams interested in the 52-year old will more than likely make one last pitch to secure his services. The Leafs are no different, as per this tweet from Damien Cox of Sportsnet:

While a lot of people believe Brendan Shanahan and the Leafs are wasting their time, it can’t hurt at this point. What have they got to lose?

One person who will be happy, is Ken Holland. (At least as much as you can be, in a situation like this.) The Red Wings General Manager had originally said he hoped to have Babcock’s decision by May 25.

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It has long been assumed that the Leafs are behind the Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers, in the pecking order. However, with the Oilers on the verge of signing Todd McLellan, at least one of those obstacles has now been removed.

For his part, Babcock admitted to Dreger that he has had a lot to consider in making his choice: “There’s not a better job, there’s a different job, so you have to be careful.

“Is change important to invigorate me? I think about lots of things. I’ve done enough thinking. It’s time to make a decision here pretty quick.”

Given that the Leafs are currently in the midst of a major rebuild, Babcock’s next comment likely invigorated and deflated fans simultaneously: “I’m a big-picture guy, but I’m an immediate-gratification guy too, because I like winning.”

Dec 31, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock (right) talks with center Darren Helm during practice the day before the Winter Classic hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

One thing that will be no issue for Toronto is money, with the Manitouwadge, Ontario native certain to sign a new deal that sets a new standard for NHL head coaches. The current record is held by Joel Quenneville, who has earned $2.75 million this season with the Chicago Blackhawks.

If the Leafs do succeed in hiring Babcock, they will be required to give Detroit a third-round pick in the NHL Draft within the next three years. Given what Toronto would be getting in return, this is more than reasonable.

Overall, Babcock is worth whatever it takes to secure his services. In 10 years with the Red Wings, he has led them to the playoffs every season and made two Stanley Cup final appearances, winning it all in 2008.

On top of this, he previously led the Anaheim Ducks to the final in 2003. He also coached Canada to gold medals at the 1997 World Junior Hockey Championship, the 2004 World Men’s Championship, together with two golds at the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Personally, I don’t believe Babcock is coming to Toronto. However, it’s worth remembering the Leafs were one number away from winning the NHL Draft Lottery, so you never know…

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