Babcock's Ultimate NHL Challenge: Overcoming Leafness

Published on 23-May-2015 by J Square Humboldt
NHL / NHL Daily Review

Hope springs eternal.

It's like the girl who falls for the bad boy and knows she can change him.

Which rarely ends well.

This time around, two franchises renowned for wrecking managerial careers have recruited prevailing masters of their craft who, like an enraptured romantic, just know ...

Joe Maddon is off to a promising start with the perpetually feckless Chicago Cubs, and now Mike Babcock has assumed the Sisyphean task of bringing a Stanley Cup to Toronto because the Maple Leafs had actually won it.

That last quote oughta play well when the Leafs visit the other Canadian franchises, but those crowds have always had generous samplings of Toronto sweaters interspersed among them.

Not to mention the accessories:

So, Brendan Shanahan and his fellow caretakers of Leafness have gone out and done something. Eight years and $50million's worth, which might have meant more to Babcock than he's admitting.

Dude's the only coach in the Triple Gold Club, the only coach to win two straight Olympic golds, and taken his only teams -- Anaheim and Detroit -- to the Stanley Cup finals. So he knows what it takes to get the job done and is under no illusions that it's not happening quickly in Toronto.

Yes, skeptics remain.

But if Babcock does do the unthinkable, don't be surprised to find the Maple Leafs on some extremely exclusive lists.

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