Mike Babcock's new contract in Columbus will be long-term.
Mike Wulf/CSM/Zuma  

Mike Babcock's new contract in Columbus will be long-term.

Mike Babcock is setting himself up for another long term payday after earning a small fortune from the Maple Leafs.

Jonathan Larivee

If this deal works out it could look like a brilliant move on the part of Columbus Blue Jackets' general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, but if the deal doesn't work out so well many will likely be questioning why Kekalainen failed to learn from the Maple Leafs' mistake.

Over the weekend a number of National Hockey League insiders reported that Mike Babcock was in line to become the next head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. It would appear that it is in fact a done deal, with the only thing holding up the process being the fact that Babcock remains under contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs until the end of this month.

That was the result of a long term deal that Babcock signed with the Maple Leafs, a 6 year deal in fact that paid him a whopping $6.25 million per season, a deal that would only see Babcock behind the Maple Leafs bench for just a little over half the length of that deal.

You might think that such a scenario would make a team reluctant to sign Babcock to another long term offer, but it would appear that the Blue Jackets have gone all in on Mike Babcock. According to a report from Bally Sports' Andy Strickland, Babcock is in line for another long term deal with Strickland reporting that the head coach's new deal will come with a 4 year term attached.

This once again opens up the possibility of a scenario in which Babcock could be fired well before the end of his tenure, but continue to collect a salary after the fact. That being said the Blue Jackets will be far more reluctant to waste those kind of dollars than an organization like the Toronto Maple Leafs, so I wouldn't bet on that scenario playing out barring some kind of disaster behind the bench in Columbus.

Mike Babcock's new contract in Columbus will be long-term.

Update: Strickland has since taken down his report but I've included a screenshot above and the original link can be found here.