Oct 15, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock during a post game press conference after a win ove the Los Angeles Kings at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Babcock, Maple Leafs Part Ways

By: Brennen Krikorian

Since making the trade with the Detroit Red Wings in 2015 to bring in Mike Babcock as head coach, the Toronto Maple Leafs have become a regular season powerhouse that has struggled to advance deep into the playoffs.

General manager Kyle Dubas has done everything he possibly can in terms of acquiring key pieces in order to make a championship team, headlined by the additions of John Tavares and Tyson Barrie.

On paper, it seemed like this season might have been the year that Toronto made their Stanley Cup run.

However, the start of the season has been anything but what Maple Leaf fans expected out of their beloved team.

Following the injuries to Tavares and Mitch Marner, the team has been lifeless and unable to sustain a winning streak.

After going 0-6-1 in his last seven games, Dubas, along with team president Brendan Shanahan, decided to take matters into their own hands and fire Mike Babcock as head coach.

As one of the most hardcore fan bases in the league, everyone in Toronto is now wondering what can be done to change the narrative of this season.

That narrative begins with a new coach to be the successor of Babcock, and Toronto didn’t waste any time to get their guy.

Immediately after deciding to part ways with Babcock, Dubas announced they would be promoting Sheldon Keefe, who has served as the head coach for the Toronto Marlies since 2015.

Keefe was a no-brainer for the front office due to his familiarity with both the organization, as well as the players who have come up through the minors such as Andreas Johnsson and Zach Hyman.

Keefe also has a much different style of coaching than his predecessor. It has been said by many former players that Babcock was overly assertive and too old school for today’s style of play.

The Maple Leafs currently sit at 10-10-4 following a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes in Keefe’s debut, but are still two points out of playoff contention.

There is still plenty of time for Toronto to clean things up, and the addition of Keefe should be a huge step in the right direction.

Cover Photo via: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports

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About Brennen Krikorian 15 Articles
Brennan is from Worcester, Massachusetts and is currently majoring in business management at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. He is a lifetime sports fan who supports the Pittsburgh Penguins, Michigan State, and all of the Boston sports teams. He joined the team in August of 2019 to serve as an NHL and NFL writer. Follow Brennan on Twitter @KrikorianB15.

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