When Mike Babcock first arrived in Toronto every word that came out of his mouth was carefully calculated to damper expectations fans had after their organization signed a man that many consider the best coach in the National Hockey League. Now however Babcock is signing a different tune.
In one of the first statements from Babcock that could raise expectations in Toronto, the Leafs head coach made it clear he feels the team his organization will field a very different team this season.
"We're way better," Babcock said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We got kids, but we got skill. It's a way different program than a year ago. We now have a team.
"We're like a fast-climbing stock. You want to buy. Last year, you didn't want to buy."
It's a strong statement from Babcock, especially when viewed in the light of how he approached the media when first arriving in Toronto, and it's a stark contrast to the preseason rankings from ESPN, published this week, that have the Leafs ranked dead last in the NHL.