Sports Kadri: Babcock a good coach but 'sometimes his methods weren't the greatest'

21:11  04 december  2019
21:11  04 december  2019 Source:   thescore.com

Toronto Maple Leafs fire head coach Mike Babcock, promote Sheldon Keefe to role

  Toronto Maple Leafs fire head coach Mike Babcock, promote Sheldon Keefe to role TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Mike Babcock replaced him with Sheldon Keefe. Babcock had a record of 9-10-4 in 2019-20 for the struggling Leafs, who are 0-5-1 in their last six games, including five straight losses in regulation. Hired as part of Toronto's massive rebuild in the spring of 2015, the 56-year-old Babcock went 173-133-45 in his four-plus seasons with Toronto. After signing the richest coaching contract in NHL history at US$50 million over eight years, Babcock got Toronto to the playoffs the last three straight seasons, but was unable to advance beyond the first round.

Patrick Marleau, Mike Babcock, Nazem Kadri, Mitchell Marner posing for the camera© Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

Nazem Kadri acknowledges Mike Babcock's behavior wasn't always ideal.

The Colorado Avalanche forward didn't say no when asked if some of his former bench boss' tactics to get the best out of players crossed a line.

"Sometimes," Kadri told the assembled media, including Sportsnet, after Colorado's morning skate in Toronto ahead of the center's highly anticipated return.

"I think Babs is a good coach. I just ... sometimes his methods, I think, weren't the greatest. That's just the fine line between players and coaches. I think as a coach, you've got to take that responsibility to kind of have your players' backs, and that's when you get the best out of them."

Mike Babcock's coaching peers praise ex-Maple Leafs bench boss after firing

  Mike Babcock's coaching peers praise ex-Maple Leafs bench boss after firing TORONTO — While his team has performed well early this season despite losing its top player from last year's championship team, Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse acknowledged Wednesday wasn't an easy day. Hours before the Raptors tipped off against the Orlando Magic at Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Maple Leafs fired head coach Mike Babcock and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe. Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment owns both teams and the arena — and the two coaches got to know each other over the years."I've obviously known him for a little while and had some good conversations with him," Nurse said. "It's very tough.

The Maple Leafs fired Babcock on Nov. 20 after suffering their sixth consecutive loss the night before.

Less than a week later, the Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan reported Babcock had shamed a rookie in 2016-17 by asking him to rank his teammates by work ethic and then sharing the list with the team. The Athletic's Ian Tulloch later reported the rookie was Mitch Marner.

On Monday, former NHLers Chris Chelios and Johan Franzen came forward with unflattering accounts of Babcock's tactics during his tenure with the Detroit Red Wings.

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Kadri: Trade to Colorado was a 'blessing in disguise' .
Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri will suit up against his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, for the first time on Saturday night in Denver. Kadri was the centerpiece of a July 1 trade that sent defenseman Tyson Barrie and forward Alexander Kerfoot to Toronto. The 29-year-old center reflected on the summer blockbuster ahead of Saturday's matchup.

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