Who doesn’t like a challenge? If Mike Babcock chooses to become the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he’ll prove that he does. While Babcock’s interview with TSN’s Darren Dreger makes it seem like he is leaning towards staying with the Detroit Red Wings, I think that would be the wrong choice.
He could stay in Detroit and remain successful with the Red Wings. What about the two teams that have asked permission to hire him, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres?
With Buffalo and all the high-end prospects they have, they won’t be that bad for long. This is exactly why he should choose the Leafs: the challenge.
I’ve heard many people say that the Leafs would not be a good choice for Babcock. With just how bad the lineup in Toronto will probably be in the coming seasons, they don’t look like a great option for Babcock. That might be true, but think about this for a second.
Leafs Future Is Better Than You Think
Even if the Leafs don’t have a GM before the draft, having a talent evaluator like Mark Hunter in charge should nab the Leafs a few good prospects. Add those players to offensive prospects like William Nylander and Connor Brown to defensive prospects such as Stuart Percy, Victor Loov and Tom Nilsson and the Leafs’ future doesn’t look so bleak. The myth that the Leafs prospect depth is horrible is perpetuated by people who haven’t watched the Toronto Marlies the past two seasons, especially this season.
If Babcock were to come to Toronto and build a winner eventually, imagine how he would be remembered? A lot of players might want to come to Toronto to see if they can help bring the Stanley Cup back to the Maple Leafs. I’m sure it’s the same for coaches. If any coach could do it, it’s Babcock. He’d even get to work with someone he previously coached in Brendan Shanahan.
In the past 12 seasons, Babcock has made three Stanley Cup Finals appearances, winning it all in 2008. He has done it with two different teams as well, the Red Wings and the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Only Daryl Sutter and Alain Vigneault have done that as well in the same time frame. If he could get the Leafs to the Finals, he would get one team closer to the great Scotty Bowman, who made it to the Cup Finals with four different teams.
In the interview with Dreger, Babcock said this,
“There isn’t a better job, just a different job.”
I’m not so sure about that. Being successful with a team that is expected to be successful, he’s just a coach that guides a team to where it’s supposed to be. If he takes a team that is expected to be garbage and makes them successful sooner than expected, then his legacy is enhanced.
That is why Mike Babcock should be the next head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Its quite simple when you think about it. He’s a great coach now. If he succeeds in Toronto, he’ll be remembered for what might as well be forever.