Wednesday, May 20, 2015
On Wednesday, the Leafs signed Mike Babcock to an 8-year, $50 million deal to become the 30th head coach in franchise history.
The Leafs apparently swooped in at the last moment of negotiations and signed Babcock after it looked almost certain as if the Buffalo Sabres would sign the highly sought after coach. There are tears in Buffalo, for sure.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Re-building is not for the faint of heart. It takes plenty of years of being utterly terrible before the first signs of tangible progress, and sometimes plenty more after that before reaching the ultimate prize (just ask the St. Louis Blues).
To get a better understanding of just how long a rebuild might take in Toronto I looked at three of the past four Stanley Cup winners to see how they did it. I excluded the Boston Bruins because they didn't really rebuild, they succeeded in pulling off the magical re-tool on the fly, in large part because they made the greatest free agent singing ever (Zdeno Chara) and lucked into two franchise goalies (in one case the luck was having a team as stupid as the Leafs to trade with). Basically, the Bruins model is not easily replicable.
For the Kings, Blackhawks, and Penguins, I defined the start of the rebuild as the first season in which they flamed out after having been in the playoffs or at least in playoff contention for a number of years. If you're in the playoffs or at least close enough to have a shot late in the season (as the Kings were from 2003-2005) you aren't rebuilding. It's not until a team drops dramatically in the standings that they typically commit to a full rebuild.
So how did they do it?
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
It's certainly possible. And you have to look no further than the team who has won two of the last five Stanley Cups.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
The move comes half a season and one contract extension too late, but the news of Carlyle's dismissal is positive nonetheless.