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SportsNHL Insider Claims Leafs Already Have Mike Babcock Successor Lined Up

10:50  14 may  2019
10:50  14 may  2019 Source:   12up.com

Dubas confirms Babcock will remain Maple Leafs' head coach

Dubas confirms Babcock will remain Maple Leafs' head coach Kyle Dubas put any remaining speculation about Mike Babcock's future to rest on Monday. The Toronto Maple Leafs general manager told TSN's Bob McKenzie that the head coach will be back with the team next season. “We’re all in on Mike and Mike is all in on us," Dubas said. "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.” The GM also acknowledged the team still has areas of concern to address, but he made it clear Babcock will be included in that process.

Michael Babcock Jr. (born April 29, 1963) is a Canadian professional ice hockey head coach, currently serving as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League ( NHL ).

NHL Insider . Babcock on Thursday received a text from a friend referring to a report suggesting the strained relationship with Matthews. Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos on Thursday said Babcock had lost Matthews for various reasons, and that the 20-year-old has trust issues with his coach.

NHL Insider Claims Leafs Already Have Mike Babcock Successor Lined Up© Maddie Meyer Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a very disappointing stretch with head coach Mike Babcock behind the bench, and have not made it past the opening round of the playoffs since he took over.

After their most recent loss to the Boston Bruins in the first round in seven games, many experts and fans began speculating on whether or not Babcock will return as coach next season. While that seemed to have been confirmed, that does not mean that GM Kyle Dubas doesn't have someone in line to take over if and when Babcock's tenure is done.

Sheldon Keefe is currently the head coach of the Maple Leafs' AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, and led them to a Calder Cup Championship in 2018. Keefe and Dubas are reportedly very close, and Keefe is reportedly the next in line to be the head coach for the Maple Leafs.

Keefe has been the head coach of the Marlies for the past four years and has a 189-87-28 with three playoff berths on his resume. Before Toronto, he was the head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for three seasons.

As for Babcock, he has been the head coach of the Leafs for the past four years, and has not had the success that Keefe had in the AHL. He has brought Toronto to the postseason in three of four years, but never won a series.

Babcock has a 164-123-41 record since joining the Leafs, but has yet to fulfill the expectations placed on him. The Leafs were seen as potential contenders for the Stanley Cup last season, and they were once again disappointed. The clock could very well be ticking on his tenure, and the organization wouldn't be wrong to take action.

Shanahan: Maple Leafs 'will have cap issues' as long as we're contenders.
Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan understands the challenges that lie ahead for his team in the salary cap era. The 50-year-old executive signed a six-year extension with the club Tuesday and was transparent about the Maple Leafs' cap situation as they continue their effort to end a 52-year Stanley Cup drought. “As long as we are hopefully a Stanley Cup contender we will have cap issues, so Toronto should get used to that," Shanahan said, according to Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Prime Time Sports. "The better you become, the less peaceful it is, the more anxiety there is, because each decision means more and so you still have problems,” he added.

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