Mike Babcock will be introduced to the Toronto media at 11 a.m. today. Look at this mayhem. They are following Babcock around from the sky.
Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 21, 2015
Look, this stuff is fun. I had fun when helicopters were following DeMarco Murray from PHL to the NovaCare Complex a few months ago. The energy is great and the hype is fun and the excitement is genuine.
But when it comes to winning -- and more importantly winning the way the Flyers want to win under Ron Hextall -- I'll take the smart, calculated hiring of Dave Hakstol over throwing money at Mike Babcock any day of the week.
That's not a knock on Mike Babcock. He's a great coach and he'll do fine in Toronto.
But if anything can mess up his career and his legacy with the Maple Leafs, it's going to be the expectations and the pressure that comes with those expectations. A coach cannot win simply on his own, and it's not hard to see a world in which the lofty expectations on Babcock become unfair.
When you pay a coach a record contract ($50 million for a coach!), you expect him to make an immediate impact. If the Flyers hired Mike Babcock, the pressure would be unbelievable. That's what Toronto's getting, and while I think it's a smart move that will pay off for them because Babcock is a great coach, I'm also waiting for the first hit piece from the Toronto media on how Mike Babcock isn't worth it. It'll come after a silly three-game losing streak in October, and it'll be nothing but a distraction for a rebuilding team.
I'm glad the Flyers don't have to worry about that. I'm glad Toronto is dealing with the circus today and we're sitting back watching it.