Mike Babcock is about to win a lot of games at the Air Canada Centre. No, the Leafs hasn’t fixed themselves, and they probably aren’t about to go on a superhuman tear to win the East. Rather, Mike Babcock is going to get himself a side job that allows him to live out his dreams.
According to Darren Dreger:
Expect Team Canada to name its World Cup coaching staff on Thurs in Toronto. Babcock head coach. Quenneville and Julien among assistants.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 3, 2015
This news doesn’t come as a gigantic shocker to anybody. Beyond Babcock’s obvious new-found familiarity with the city and it’s home ice, he’s been Hockey Canada’s go-to for years now. Babcock has been the head coach of Canada at two Olympics, a World Juniors and a World Championship, and has won Gold every single time.
That’s a resume that speaks for itself, even if it was done while coaching a hockey nation as strong as Canada. Babcock’s only international loss to date is Canada’s 5-3 loss to the United States in the round robin of the 2010 Olympics; a game where Canada outshot their rivals 45-23 but lost thanks to one of Ryan Miller’s best games ever. Since that game, Babcock’s Canada has outscored their opponents 38-12.
Overall, it’ll be nice to see the Babcock behind the bench of a powerhouse in Toronto that isn’t the Detroit Red Wings, even if Canada wears the same colours. It’ll be interesting to see which Leafs he takes with him a year from now; Morgan Rielly would play on Team North America U-23, but the likes of Nazem Kadri, Joffrey Lupul, Steven Stamkos, and Dion Phaneuf will all be eligible to make the team, not to mention both goaltenders.