According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Mike Babcock is the new head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The deal is reportedly worth an astounding $50 million over eight years.
Babcock’s future was in limbo since Detroit was eliminated during the first round of the playoffs, and had been linked to the San Jose Sharks and Buffalo Sabres.
According to the Detroit Free-Press, the Red Wings offered Babcock a four-year, $13 million contract, which would have made Babcock the NHL’s highest paid coach.
Image from Michael Miller via Wikimedia Commons
Damien Cox reports that after trade talks with the Wings about Dion Phaneuf fell apart, at least two other teams showed interest in the Leafs’ captain.
There’s widespread belief the Leafs could have done a deal with Detroit involving Dion Phaneuf at the deadline, but backed off, thinking a better trade option might emerge over the coming months. At least two other teams have since approached Toronto about a Phaneuf trade.
Phaneuf is owed $49.5 million over the next six seasons with a cap hit of $7 million.
Marek Zidlicky has been traded to the Red Wings, reports Tom Gulitti.
Detroit has been rumored to be in on Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf for most of the day, but the two sides obviously couldn’t work out a deal.
TSN reports that if Detroit gets to the Stanley Cup Finals this season, the pick will be upgraded to a 2nd.
Dave Pagnotta of the Fourth Period reports that the Red Wings and the Kings are keeping an eye on the Leafs’ RD Cody Franson.
With the Leafs sitting outside the playoff picture, it seems a certainty that he’s moved before the March 2nd trade deadline if the Leafs don’t get his signature on a contract extension.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports that, although it’s coach Mike Babcock’s preference to have a balance of right- and left-handed defensemen, the team’s roster consists exclusively of left-handed handed defensemen.
St. James lists Cody Franson, Eric Gryba, Jeff Petry and Tyler Myers as potential targets for the wings. She suggests Mike Green will probably stay put as long as Washington is in playoff contention, and wonders about Justin Faulk, whom I doubt Carolina would move.
Pierre Lebrun reports that Senators general manager Bryan Murray has been calling around the league looking to upgrade his offensive personnel. Lebrun says that any talks would be very time sensitive. The Senators are currently eight points out of a playoff spot, and it would obviously be much easier to secure a playoff spot if they were to chip away on the deficit in advance of the March 2 deadline, so the sooner the better for outside help.
The Fourth Period reports that if the Senators are unable to make up much ground before the trading deadline, Marc Methot would likely be on the move. The Ducks and Wings are two teams interested in Methot, says the report.
Image from Tom Gromak via Wikimedia Commons
From January 6th edition of TSN’s Insider Trading:
Darren Dreger says there’s a chance that Mike Babcock becomes the next coach of the Leafs, but says it’s mostly wishful thinking. He says Babcock isn’t looking for another project, which the Leafs would be. He also suggests that Babcock feels a responsibility to move the coaching pay scale forward, and wonders if the Leafs would be willing to pay a coach upwards of $4 million annually. Pierre Lebrun doesn’t think that the big movement from Mike Babcock or Ken Holland and ownership in contract negotiations will happen until later in the year.
A graphic lists Ken Holland, Claude Julien, Todd McLellan, Peter DeBoer, Paul MacLean, Dan Bylsma, Peter Horacek, Steve Spott, and Kevin Dineen as potential coaching candidates. Pierre Lebrun says Julien and McLellan might be on short leashes in Boston and San Jose respectively, and are potentially on Toronto’s shortlist.
Dreger says the Leafs are “open for business”, and may re-visit interest in Dion Phaneuf from a Western Conference team this past summer. He also suggests the Leafs will listen on Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, and even Phil Kessel.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press notes that Tomas Tatar is emerging as a very valuable asset for the Red Wings, and speculates that he could be used in a package to acquire that top-4 right-handed defenseman that has been so elusive for the Red Wings in recent years.
Since Brian Rafalski retired in 2011, the Red Wings have been looking for a big-minute right-handed defenseman to replace him. GM Ken Holland was open with his admiration of San Jose’s trade for Brent Burns and reportedly offered Dan Boyle a three-year contract before he signed with the Rangers.
St. James wonders if Tatar, Jakub Kindl and a second round draft pick would be enough to land Tyler Myers, seemingly a long-time target of the Wings, from the Sabres.