Mike Babcock will leave the Detroit Red Wings after 10 seasons to become the next coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs after agreeing to a contract that will make him the highest paid coach in the league.
Babcock told the Red Wings this morning that he wouldn’t return. Instead, he’s opted for an 8-year contract that will pay somewhere around $50 million. The annual salary will surpass that of Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville’s $2.75 million annual salary.
Babock couldn’t have found a more opposite situation than he was leaving. The Maple Leafs have been to the postseason once in the last 10 years. Babcock has one Stanley Cup title in the last 10 years.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 20, 2015
For as much consistency as the Red Wings have shown, the Maple Leafs have none. It doesn’t appear to be a quick fix either. The biggest questions facing Toronto now are the futures of Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel, although multiple draft picks should certainly help the process.
Hiring Babcock is the next move that shows Toronto is serious about building sustained success under President Brendan Shanahan, who Babcock coached in Detroit.