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Mike Babcock stood at the front of the familiar dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, this time for something of a farewell address. ''I dug it out here today - I'm going through and cleaning out my office,'' Babcock said. ''It gives me great pride for what we were able to accomplish in my 10 years.'' Babcock was introduced Thursday in Toronto - a celebratory, hopeful event for a team that has had precious few of those lately.
Mike Babcock stood at the front of the familiar dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, this time for something of a farewell address. ''I dug it out here today - I'm going through and cleaning out my office,'' Babcock said. ''It gives me great pride for what we were able to accomplish in my 10 years.'' Babcock was introduced Thursday in Toronto - a celebratory, hopeful event for a team that has had precious few of those lately.
You can be 100 percent sure of two things with Mike Babcock going to Toronto:  1) The amount of money he's being paid literally doesn't matter at all to the club. 2) The Leafs' management did more due diligence from a statistical point of view than most other teams would have. So with the first issue in mind, let's stop fretting about how much money he's being paid — even if $50 million over eight seasons is, indeed, a lot — because they gave David Clarkson almost as much, and Babcock doesn't count against the cap. But if you're paying your coach that much money, it doesn't matter how big your Scrooge McDuck vault is: He needs to produce. And the Leafs have indeed had a production problem for a good long while now. The last time they were a positive possession team for the entirety of a season it was 2009-10. (And a fat lot of good that did them because they finished with 74 points that year, their second-worst total since 1998, eclipsed only by this past season's disaster.)  Now, with Brendan Shanahan in charge, there seems to be a lot less ambling around trying to get better by doing... well, something or other, and a lot more going directly to the point. Randy Carlyle, gone. Dave Nonis, not long after. Carlyle was replaced by the biggest free agent coaching move in league history, and Nonis's replacement will be installed soon. The decisions both make on a daily basis will be buttressed by a newfound vision of maximizing assets through shrewd management and close examination of statistical data. In short, the Maple Leafs are making good decisions these days, and seem ready to do that for a long time to come. But the question is simple: Was Babcock worth the investment. Not in terms of the money, because again, it doesn't matter too much to them whether it was $6.25 million or $10 million, but in terms of what he's going to do to help the team improve. Of course, the perception is that Babcock is an amazing coach who is great at his job and all he does is win. In reality, the former is at least partly true, while the latter is very much not, at least lately. In fact, all the evidence we have suggests Babcock is good at getting All-Star teams to win titles. The 2008 Red Wings were, effectively, an All-Star team, with Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart and more getting major minutes down the stretch. He's also won two straight Olympic golds for Canada, plus a World Championship and World Juniors. Again, All-Star teams. And so the question is what kind of impact a coach has on a team. His career .627 winning percentage in the regular season is a good indicator that the impact is overwhelmingly positive. His two trips out of the first round in the playoffs over the last six seasons not so much. But wins and losses are obviously not the best way to judge a team or coach, and so we have to look at what his systems do for the teams he coaches. Fortunately, his entire coaching career falls between 2002-03 and present, which we can refer to as the War On Ice era , since that site has possession numbers going back that far. And using that data, we begin to see a picture of Babcock's coaching prowess emerge:

Posted by Yardbarker: Toronto Maple Leafs on May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


The Toronto Maple Leafs have their next head coach in Mike Babcock, but they are still in need of a general manager. While team president Brendan Shanahan has emphasized that he is in no hurry to hire one, there is still the need to do so. Or at least that is what would seem logical, but according to The Hockey Writers, Shanahan indicated that the duties of the general manager may ultimately fall upon a committee of himself, Mark Hunter, and assistant Kyle Dubas. If Shanahan does choose to hire one person to take over the responsibilities, the front runner certainly seems to be Hunter. Hunter has had an opportunity to serve as co-general manager with Dubas since October, and may be ready to slide into that role permanently.  (h/t The Hockey Writers)Image Credit: Chris Young, Canadian Press
A day after being introduced as the new coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Mike Babcock was back in Detroit, speaking with reporters in the Red Wings' dressing room. In what was something of a farewell address to the organization and the city, Babcock thanked Detroit owner Mike Ilitch, described the past decade as the best 10 years of his life - and said he went back and forth on his decision ''a hundred times'' before finally choosing Toronto. Babcock was Detroit's coach for the last 10 years, winning a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008.
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com . . @MapleLeafs Toronto church welcomes new #Leafs coach Mike Babcock. Hopes he doesn't face too much pressure. pic.twitter.com/0L952xEW2g — Simon Dingley (@SimonDingleyCBC) May 22, 2015 • If Mike Babcock is looking for a place of worship, here's one sympathetic to his upcoming plight. [ SimonDingleyCBC ] • The NHL salary cap is looking like it will be set at around $71-million next season. [ AP ] • "The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled against [financial] manager — Joseph Zada — concluding he has to pay $112 million for selling fake investments in Saudi Arabian oil to dozens of unsuspecting victims — including [Sergei] Fedorov, a horse trainer, a plastic surgeon and several firefighters." [ Detroit Free Press ] • A day after losing Game 3, Joel Quenneville's lineup changes are being put under a microscope, natch. [ NBC Chicago ] • Kenny Albert is the broadcasting equivalent of the NHL's Iron Man. One example: after calling the 3OT game in Anaheim, he jumped on a plane to Tampa Bay in order to do radio play-by-play for the Rangers the next day. [ New York Times ] • The influence and ripples from the Martin St. Louis/Ryan Callahan trade for the Tampa Bay Lightning. [ Raw Charge ] • "The reality of the situation is simple: These New York Rangers are very good at making life difficult for themselves. There's another part too: These New York Rangers are also very good at feeling their backs against the wall and coming together to overcome even the most difficult mountains of adversity." [ Blueshirt Banter ] • Three years ago, Alex Killorn walked in the commencement ceremony at Harvard. Now he's playing a key role for the Lightning in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Not bad. [ Tampa Bay Observer ] • Rangers D-man Dan Boyle still has more he wants to prove - and win. [ ESPN ] • Hero of Game 3, Anaheim's Simon Despres, is surprising everyone, including himself. [ OC Register ] • The St. Louis Blues are playing coy on discussing the status of head coach (for now) Ken Hitchcock. [ Belleville News-Democrat ] • Saginaw Spirit GM James Paliafito hired by Toronto Maple Leafs as Director of Player Evaluation. Fancy title. [ Buzzing the Net ] • Happy news for the Red Wings: 2014 top draft pick Dylan Larkin has signed a three-year ELC and will join the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) for their Calder Cup playoff run. [ Red Wings ] • Pros and cons of jumping from the Canadian Women's Hockey League to the paid National Women's Hockey League. [ Today's Slapshot ] • How Corey Crawford used visual clues to find the puck in Game 2. [ In Goal Magazine ] • Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher are even more special than you think. [ EOTP ] • Back in April, Syracuse Crunch intern and goalie, Jennifer Greene, practiced with the club she usually does PR for. She's the first female to practice with the club. [ The Pink Puck ] • An inside look at the Ducks' logo change from 2007, their Stanley Cup year. [ Sporting News ] • Fantasy hockey alert: looking at forwards that might fly under the radar in leagues with salary cap. [ Dobber ] • A graphical presentation of fancy stats: why possession and zone entries matter. [ Hockey Graphs ] • More fancy stats: "Shot quality and possession metrics have always been somewhat a point of contention. Expected Goals (ExpG) helps to combine these two facets in hopes of providing better information about the game." [ Don't Tell Me About Heart ] • Best headline of the day: "85% is a unicorn – on predictions in the National Hockey League postseason." [ Stats by Lopez ] • Finally, the Wysh List. Why Mike Babcock choosing the Maple Leafs blew our minds... - - - - - - - Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @MsJenNeale_PD . MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:  

Posted by Yardbarker: Toronto Maple Leafs on May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


  View image | gettyimages.com The Philadelphia Flyers were not the only NHL team that has found themselves a new bench boss this week. Unlike the Flyers, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers stayed with the philosophy of hiring a proven NHL head coach to guide their teams. Babcock The Toronto Maple Leafs have won the Mike Babcock sweepstakes. After weeks of speculation as to where the now former Red Wings coach would end up, he has chosen to take his coaching talents north of the border. He signed for 8 years and 50 million dollars. Babcock was probably the hottest name that was potentially on the market. Philadelphia, Buffalo, San Jose and Toronto were all rumored to have interest. Detroit will receive a third round pick from Toronto sometime in the next three years as compensation for the hire. McLellan Former Sharks head coach Todd McLellan has also found new work. McLellan was announced as the new head man for the Edmonton Oilers. In seven seasons in San Jo...


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