The Toronto Maple Leafs may have a little bit of drama on their hands.
Those of you who have been following the National Hockey League for a very long time will know that it is exceedingly rare for the head coach of any organization to openly criticize his roster of players and, by extension, his general manager for building that roster of players. It is so rare in fact that even when it happens behind the scenes, as it allegedly did in Chicago between Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, it usually causes quite a stir in the media.
It is for that reason that the comments made by Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock on Monday come as such a big surprise. Speaking with Sportsnet's Luke Fox Babcock had some harsh criticism of the current Maple Leafs roster, directly implying that the current depth options at his disposal were simply not good enough to get the job done.
"You're supposed to build the best program you can so you have as much depth so you don't miss people," said the Leafs head coach as per Fox. "If you have enough, you don't miss a beat and you just keep going. There's other teams that have done a better job when different players are out than we have in keeping on going. That just tells you what state we're at, and you hust gotta keep adding better players."
There can be absolutely no doubt that this criticism from Babcock is intended to call out a lack of talent in his depth options and you have to wonder how general manager Kyle Dubas will feel about those comments given that he was already clearly frustrated at times when watching his Maple Leafs fall apart last week. I can't imagine that a very young general manager, one who was chosen for the position over some very big and well respected names in hockey, will take very kindly to having his coach challenge his roster decisions so openly.
Additionally it's a bit strange to hear Babcock making such comments when depth players like former Leafs' forward Joshua Leivo and current Maple Leafs' defenseman Justin Holl have barely ever been given a crack at the main roster in spite showing flashes of potential at times in their careers.
What do you think? Agree with Babcock? Or is he out of line here?