NHL News & Notes: Babcock, Holland, Therrien & More

In today’s News & Notes, Mike Babcock will remain the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ken Holland has agreed to terms on a contract to become the new general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo have joined the Philadelphia Flyers and Pat Verbeek is the new assistant general manager of the Detroit Red Wings.

Babcock Remains Maple Leafs Coach

While there was some uncertainty surrounding Babcock’s future as the head coach of the Maple Leafs after their first-round exit from the postseason for the third consecutive season, Bob McKenzie reported Monday that he will remain in his position with the team per a text from Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas.

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock
Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

“We’re all in on Mike and Mike is all in on us,” Dubas said according to McKenzie. “We’ve had productive management meetings as an organization and Mike and I have had some really good meetings as well since the season ended.

“It’s our very strong belief Mike is the one to lead us, that’s the reality of it.”

With the belief that Babcock and Dubas have been at odds with certain philosophies regarding the team, it would appear that Dubas is willing to give Babcock a bit more room to work and see his vision through.

Holland Joins Oilers

Just a few weeks after it was announced that Steve Yzerman would be taking over as the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, Holland has moved on from his post as senior vice president and senior advisor as he has reportedly agreed to terms on a contract with the Oilers to become their new general manager.

Related: NHL News & Notes: Yzerman, Oshie, & More

This was expected as of late but still comes as big news given Holland’s success over the course of his career in Detroit, turning them into one of the most decorated franchises in the history of the game.

Holland had issues managing the salary cap in the later years of his tenure in Detroit and he’ll now be tasked with turning around a similar situation in Edmonton. This is a chance for him to restore the prestige to his name that followed it for so many years prior.

General manager Ken Holland
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 24: General manager Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings talks with his staff during the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Oilers are a team looking to capitalize on having some of the best players in the league in Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl in others. Time will tell if Holland is the person who can help turn things around.

Therrien & Yeo Join Flyers

The overhaul of the Flyers’ front office and management team has continued with the team hiring Therrien and Yeo as assistant coaches to serve under newly-appointed head coach Alain Vigneault.

(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Flyers are bringing in a bevy of experience with both Therrien and Yeo who have very recent experience as head coaches in the NHL. The same can be said about Vigneault as the trio is far from a group of rookie coaches looking for their first opportunity.

Related: NHL News & Notes: Schmaltz Trade, Hextall Fired & More

It’s a strategy that reflects the win-now philosophy that the team appears to be taking which resulted in Ron Hextall being fired from his role as general manager in the first place.

Therrien most recently served as the head coach of the Canadiens (his second stint with the team) and held the job from June 2015 until Feb. 2017. The team would qualify for the postseason in each of Therrien’s first three seasons with the club. He holds a record of 406-3030-23-82 in 814 games as a head coach in the NHL.

Yeo was most recently the head coach of the St. Louis Blues from Feb. 1, 2017 until Nov. 19, 2018. He would previously be the team’s assistant coach and also spent time as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild.

Mike Yeo St. Louis Blues
Mike Yeo, St. Louis Blues, January 6, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In 482 games as a head coach in the NHL, Yeo has compiled a 246-181-55 record.

Verbeek Joins Red Wings

As mentioned, Yzerman rejoined the Red Wings as their new general manager following a very impressive run with the Tampa Bay Lightning. His first major piece of news since joining the team occurred Monday when it was announced that he would be bringing Verbeek aboard as assistant general manager of the Red Wings.

Verbeek and Yzerman worked together for nine years with the Lightning and will work to restore the Red Wings to the gold-standard they were for so long.

Verbeek joins assistant general manager Ryan Martin who will continue to serve as the general manager of the Grand Rapids Griffins. Verbeek spent two seasons with the Red Wings as a player and four seasons as a scout before eventually being hired by Yzerman in Tampa Bay.