Sport: Why Seattle should name Mike Babcock its head coach sooner than later - - PressFrom - US
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Sport Why Seattle should name Mike Babcock its head coach sooner than later

07:20  23 november  2019
07:20  23 november  2019 Source:   sfchronicle.com

Babcock: I'll coach 'as hard as I can, as long as I can'

  Babcock: I'll coach 'as hard as I can, as long as I can' With speculation about his job security running rampant, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock is confident he'll get his team back on track. "I'm gonna do it as hard as I can, as long as I can. I've always bet on Mike Babcock, I'll continue to bet on him," the Leafs' bench boss told TSN on Monday. Babcock is on the hot seat with the Maple Leafs mired in a five-game losing streak and outside the playoff picture. The club has looked listless in several recent efforts, and Toronto ranks in the bottom portion of the league in power-play efficiency (16.7%), penalty kill (75%), and expected goals at five-on-five (48.3%).

Mike Babcock relieved of his duties as head coach . SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - - Mike Babcock was fired as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday and replaced by Sheldon Keefe, who was coach of the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.

Maple Leafs fire head coach Mike Babcock . Toronto, which never iced its full roster because of various injuries to key pieces, was unable to find traction after a summer of change that saw a number of Babcock 's trusted veterans leave town as part of a salary cap crunch precipitated by big-money

Seattle hasn’t even settled on a nickname for its team, but now at least there’s clarity on who should be targeted as the expansion franchise’s head coach.

Mike Babcock wearing a suit and tie: Mike Babcock has coached his teams to the playoffs 14 times in 16 seasons.© Christopher Katsarov / Associated Press

Mike Babcock has coached his teams to the playoffs 14 times in 16 seasons.

Fired on Wednesday by Toronto, Mike Babcock will have plenty of time to rest and recharge before the Totems, er, the whatchamacallits, drop the puck for their inaugural season in 2021. If there’s pressure to follow the mega-successful lead of Vegas — which hit a home run by hiring retread Gerard Gallant — Seattle can one-up the Golden Knights by pursuing Babcock.

Underperforming Maple Leafs fire coach Mike Babcock

  Underperforming Maple Leafs fire coach Mike Babcock TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Mike Babcock. Team President Brendan Shanahan announced the move Wednesday and said Sheldon Keefe would take over as coach. In parts of five seasons under Babcock, the Maple Leafs posted a record of 173-133-45 in 351 regular-season games and an 8-12 record in three postseason appearances.Babcock had a record of 9-10-4 this season for the struggling Leafs, who are 0-5-1 in their last six games, including five straight losses in regulation.

Maple Leafs fire head coach Mike Babcock . And since he helped bring Mike Babcock to Toronto in the spring of 2015, the president of the Maple Leafs felt it was only right he Toronto, which never iced its full roster because of various injuries to key pieces, was unable to find traction after a summer of

And since he helped bring Mike Babcock to Toronto in the spring of 2015, the president of the Maple Leafs felt it was only right he be there when the axe fell on his head Sitting uncomfortably outside the playoff picture, the scuffling Leafs fired Babcock on Wednesday and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe.

Whether they buckled under the over-the-top daily scrutiny or really have a diamond in the rough with new coach Sheldon Keefe, the Maple Leafs cut loose an accomplished bench boss. It isn’t Babcock’s fault Toronto is constructed more for the loosey-goosey regular season than the rough and tumble postseason.

Babcock’s teams have missed the postseason just twice in 16 seasons. One came in 2015-16, his first behind Toronto’s bench when the rebuilding Leafs finished last overall with 69 points. Toronto qualified for the playoffs the next three seasons with point totals of 95, 105 and 100, respectively.

Toronto lost in seven games to Boston in the first round each of the past two postseasons after falling to Washington in six in 2017. Ultimately, Babcock’s inability to guide the Leafs to a playoff-round win put him in the crosshairs.

Key numbers, trends helping to shape this NHL season

  Key numbers, trends helping to shape this NHL season Key numbers, trends helping to shape this NHL season

TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Mike Babcock . Team President Brendan Shanahan announced the move Wednesday © Provided by The Associated Press Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock stands behind Kasperi Kapanen (24) during the first period

The Maple Leafs have fired head coach Mike Babcock . The move comes with the Maple Leafs currently mired in a six game losing streak and reports of tensions between the coach and some of his star players.

Babcock has met all kinds of challenges. He cut his teeth with two seasons in Anaheim, which included a Stanley Cup Finals appearance (and Game 7 loss to New Jersey) in 2003. He dove straight into an Original Six demanding market in Detroit from 2005-15 when the Red Wings won the 2008 Cup and reached Game 7 of the Finals the next season. And Babcock endured the pressure of coaching into a fifth season with Toronto.

But here’s what should really make Babcock appealing to Seattle.

He is the only coach to win as many as six national or international titles. As Gallant did in Vegas, the first coach in Seattle will need to unite players from all directions as quickly as possible. That coach will need to instill a belief that all those castoffs can jell with a once-in-a-hockey lifetime opportunity.

Bringing an unfamiliar group together quickly is the biggest challenge for the short run-ups to national and international tournaments. In addition, Babcock would have the freedom to attend NHL games next season and assist in stocking the team’s initial roster.

Oilers GM Ken Holland says he was unaware of Mike Babcock mistreating players while coaching Detroit

  Oilers GM Ken Holland says he was unaware of Mike Babcock mistreating players while coaching Detroit "Am I aware that there was some unhappiness? Yeah. But there's always going to be some unhappiness. I don't care what your style is. But some stuff, I'm not aware of.""I've been a general manager for 22 years," said Holland — who has worked with Scotty Bowman, Dave Lewis, Babcock, Jeff Blashill and now Dave Tippett in his 22 years as an NHL general manager — via TSN. "At the end of the year, I always do exit interviews. A player not liking the coach, not liking their role, not liking who they’re playing with – I hear that all the time.

Sooner Than You Think. Mike Babcock exits the ice after during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in Boston on April 23. Ottawa Senators coach D.J. Smith, who spent four years as an assistant on Babcock 's staff in Toronto, praised Babcock for his professionalism.

The Maple Leafs have fired head coach Mike Babcock . The move comes with the Maple Leafs currently mired in a six game losing streak and reports of tensions between the coach and some of his star players.

And Seattle better not drag its feet. More than a handful of teams in the league are taking a look at who’s behind their bench and are questioning how things might look like with Babcock.

Short-term fix?: The Sharks gutted out a win in Vegas on Thursday without center Tomas Hertl (lower body injury)and with back-up goalie Aaron Dell playing for the first time since Nov. 2. Dell was superb, making 37 saves, and should be disappointed if he doesn’t start again on Saturday.

What probably won’t work again, or for much longer, is going with the 11-forward, seven-defense look that coach Peter DeBoer employed Thursday. The Sharks are two games into a stretch of seven games in 12 days, so the current strategy seems likely to induce fatigue soon.

DeBoer wants to roll four lines, and have trust in each group. That hasn’t materialized, so he tried something new Thursday. And there are not enough prospects knocking on the Sharks’ door in the minors. Look for general manager Doug Wilson to make a move if the Sharks take a nose dive in the next five games.

Streaking Isles: San Jose hosts the hottest team in the league Saturday when the Islanders bring a 16-game points streak to town. New York is 15-0-1 since Oct. 12. The Isles have recorded nine comeback wins in the streak, which has featured 17 players scoring goals — including 11 who’ve netted winners.

Briefly: The Bruins look to extend a season-opening streak of earning at least a point in every home game to 13 when they host the Wild on Saturday. The Bruins have started 8-0-4 as hosts. … The Panthers overcame a four-goal deficit to win for the second time this season Thursday when they beat the Ducks. The Capitals and Jets have done it once each.

Ross McKeon is a freelance writer. Twitter: @rossmckeon

Who is Sheldon Keefe? Toronto Maple Leafs name Mike Babcock's replacement .
Sheldon Keefe was promoted to Leafs head coach from AHL Toronto Marlies.In turn, the organization promoted Sheldon Keefe from the AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies as the 31st head coach of the Maple Leafs.

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