“We got slapped.”
The words of Mike Babcock after skating his team hard during a Wednesday practice in Toronto, after a Tuesday night 7-0 loss to Los Angeles.
Babcock is coaching one of the most futile teams in NHL history, yet may be the envy of many other coaches in the league.
There are two reasons for this:
Babcock is a winner. Stanley Cup ring? Check. Olympic gold medal ? Check. Throw in a World Hockey Championship, a World Cup of Hockey Championship and a World Junior hockey title and it quickly becomes clear that he has won at every level possible.
He gets paid very well. There are many superstars in sports that make more than their coaches. This can create confusion within a team as to who is in charge in the dressing room. That’s not the case in Toronto.
For those reasons, career and salary, Babcock has the leverage to discipline his group of millionaires however he sees fit.
It’s a luxury that some other coaches in the NHL may not have.