Why would Mike Babcock go to the Maple Leafs?

Posted: May 20, 2015 in Uncategorized


On the face of it, it’s just kind of goofy, with gusts up to surreal. Why would Mike Babcock, one of the most respected coaches in hockey, go to the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the least respected organizations in hockey?

Is the guy a masochist? Does he like losing? Maybe he didn’t notice that the Loafs finished fourth from the bottom in the National Hockey League this past season?

Oh yeah he’s gonna make $50 million over eight years. There is that. This is one significant detail. So as the great Grandmaster Flash said – ‘It’s all about money/ain’t a damn thing funny.’

Cos make no mistake. This is all about money. NHL coaches make at best $2 million a year and now Babcock is going to be hauling home over $6 million on average a year. So yeah I get why he’s going to T-Dot. Many are attracted by the dough. Not me but weaker men and women. (I’m kidding, by the way. I live by the old rock-star adage – I would’ve sold out years ago, but no one was buying.) So Babcock went for the bucks.

But he is a fellow who said, just a couple of days ago – ‘I think about the opportunity to win….I’m an immediate gratification guy because I like winning.’

Huh? Wha’ happened? Reminds me of two other songs. One is Barrett Strong’s Money (That’s What I Want) – ‘The best things in life are free/But you can give them to the birds and bees/give me money.’ The Beatles version is one of the greatest rock’n’roll records ever recorded, by the way.

The other is Tom Gray’s Money Changes Everything. For more on both songs, check out Greil Marcus’s fabulous book, The History of Rock’n’Roll in Ten Songs.

Any hoo, you get the idea. The McGill grad followed the money. And so much for that talk of him coming back to the town where he went to university (which was never going to happen in any case).

I don’t really blame him. I do blame the Leafs though for absurdly inflating the wage rates for coaches. It’s like some idiotic
GM coming and paying some fourth-line plumber $7 million a year. Yeah Babcock’s no plumber but he ain’t the Messiah either and he’s been grossly overpaid.

And of course he will not win any time soon with the Leafs because they have a terrible team with a bunch of obscenely over-paid ‘stars’ who don’t deliver and not nearly enough prospects coming up through their farm system. Best line comes in a tweet quoted in the Toronto Star: ‘Now that Toronto hired Mike Babcock as head coach, all we need to do is trade for Crosby, Ovechkin, Stamkos, and put Gretzky on the 1st line.’ Exactly.

And Oh My God can you imagine the next few years of hockey coverage coming out of the Centre of the Universe known as Toronto – it’s going to be all Babcock all the time and the T.O. broadcast guys will be falling over themselves waxing what passes for poetic on Hockey Night in Canada about the great things he’ll be doing with the team. Oh the horror, the horror.


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