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Getting Mike Babcock is huge for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It brings some sense of hope to a team that just doesn’t have any of that. All leaf fans have been thinking about lately has been will Phil Kessel be leaving this summer? Will Dion Phaneuf be leaving this summer? Whose going? Whose staying? Now, leaf fans have something positive to think about, but it’s not all positive. Because with hope, there can always be disappointment. Before, I begin talking about why getting Mike Babcock won’t really change things, let’s talk about this ridiculous deal and where it ranks among coaches and players.
1. Mike Babcock, $6.25M
2. Todd McLellan, $3M*
3. Joel Quenneville, $2.75M
4. Claude Julien $2.5M
5. Darryl Sutter, $2M
5. Michel Therrien, $2M
5. Alain Vigneault, $2M
5. Peter Laviolette, $2M
5. Lindy Ruff, $2M
As you can see by this list, courtesy of Sportsnet, you can click here to see it on their website. Mike Babcock’s contract is absolutely insane.
Now, there is no cap limit on signing a coach and the Toronto Maple Leafs got money, so they can just sign him for as much as they want, but still that’s crazy. Babcock is an incredible coach, but his Red Wings haven’t even gotten past the second round since 2009 and they’ve grossly under-performed since and Joel Quenneville should be number one on that list. Now where it gets insane is when you compare his contract with current players.
45. Mike Babcock, $6.25M
46. Henrik Zetterberg, $6.083M
47. Corey Crawford, Ryan O’Reilly, Milan Lucic, Jordan Staal, Cory Schneider, Joe Pavelski, Johnny Boychuk, Matt Duchene, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Logan Couture, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Miller (tie), $6M
59. Ben Bishop, $5.95M
As you can see by this list again, courtesy of Sportsnet, Mike Babcock’s contract is absolutely insane compared to players too. I don’t know about you, but for me he doesn’t deserve to be making more money than the players. Its kind of like in the NFL, where the owners get to touch the trophy before the players when they win the SuperBowl. It just doesn’t make sense.
Now to the point at hand, getting Mike Babcock won’t really dramatically change anything. Why? Because the problem in Toronto over the years has not been the coaches, it’s been the players and management. When it comes to past coaches, Randy Carlyle won the cup with the Anaheim Ducks, but he is probably one of the most hated coaches ever in Toronto.
Paul Maurice, who this year got the Winnipeg Jets into the playoffs for the first time in their new/old franchise was fired from Toronto. I can go on and on about how it’s never really been the coaches fault because it’s clear. It’s always been about the players not performing and management. When it comes to management, all I have to do is highlight this recent debacle among other so much more mistakes. They removed Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur. All three of these players have prospered since leaving Toronto, management in Toronto is horrid.
Mike Babcock is the now the 30th coach in Leafs history. Since 2009, he hasn’t even seen past the second round. In the 10 years that he’s been the coach, he has only won the cup once. Just like Randy Caryle. Which is a funny coincidence because Babock was the coach with the Ducks and lost in the final, but Caryle coached them and won. Another coincidence is that Caryle was the assistant coach of the Jets back in the day and Paul Maurice is the current coach of the team.
And when the Red Wings won the cup in 2008, these are the players that they had; Chris Chelios, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Lidstrom, Valtterri Filppula, Mikael Samuelssson, etc. And when they almost won the cup the year after, they had added Marian Hossa. Babcock has had stacked players every time he has won a championship in his career. I’m not saying, he’s hasn’t been a good coach to win titles, but he’s going to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s going to this.
(NHL Plus Minus – 2014/2015 Season (Courtesy of SportingChecks, you can view it by clicking here)
Mike Babcock is going to a team that is full of players that under perform. Leaving behind players like Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk who play with absolute heart. The only way the Toronto Maple Leafs are to be a success next year is the players have to start believing in themselves and perform. And the management actually fixes the team and the Toronto media calms down when things are shaky.
Getting a new coach is a huge positive for the team and will bring hope to the fan base heading into the season, but I just see this being another disappointment for the fan base. I don’t see a new coach being the cure to a team after dreadful season after season.
I see the players under performing again, be it beginning of the season, middle of the season or the end. The Leafs will always just leaf. I see the management trying to fix things, but not working out. Here’s hoping the Leafs actually turn into a success, but I just can’t see that happening. Maybe it will happen in another five years, maybe in 10.
Five big story lines to look for next season for the Leafs.
1. How the players react to the new coach
2. How the coach reacts to the media when the team is slumping
3. How the media reacts to the team when it’s slumping
4. How will management finally get this team to succeed
5. Who will leave and who will stay come opening night in the 2015/2016 season.
MY MOTTO IS: IF YOU WANNA WIN THE LOTTERY, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE MONEY TO BUY A TICKET!
From The 6ix,With Love
Thank You For Reading
Sincerely, Kid From The 6ix
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