On Wednesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a necessary move that still few people expected this season: they fired head coach Mike Babcock amidst their losing streak, which they finally broke last night with a win over the Arizona Coyotes under new bench boss Sheldon Keefe.
Hired as part of a massive rebuild, the 56-year-old Babcock went 173-133-45 in his four-plus seasons with the Maple Leafs. He has a career record of 700-418-19 with the Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings an Anaheim Ducks.
While Pierre LeBrun speculated on Thursday night's Insider Trading on TSN that there could be a possibility that Babcock becomes the first head coach of the NHL’s new franchise in Seattle, another insider, this time in the KHL, Igor Erenko wonders if Babs would be interested in coaching in Russia.
Erenko points out that Babcock “could come to the KHL and still receive his payments from Toronto.” The insider also adds that Babcock is only missing the Gagarin Cup in his big trophies and could be tempted to be the second Canadian coach to receive it, after Mike Keenan.
If Babs is willing to take his time and the situation of other coaches across the league remains the same, he could become a fast front-runner for the position in Seattle. Now it seems like we should ask the question: will he wait for Seattle’s inaugural season in Russia?