Babcock on coaching Leafs: ‘It scares the crap out of you’
It is less than two weeks before Maple Leafs training camp and Mike Babcock admits he is frightened.
In a good way.
Having shed the security and familiarity of a Detroit Red Wings franchise that he led to the playoffs in each of his 10 seasons there — an impressive run that included a Stanley Cup title in 2008 — the top coaching free agent of 2015 comes to Toronto with a record eight-year, $50-million contract in hand to take over a Maple Leafs team that was, to put it mildly, was dysfunctional last season.
Babcock’s response to that? Bring it on.
“New is exciting,” he says. “It scares the crap out of you, to be honest with you. And so, that gets you on your toes and gets you dialed in.”
We are sitting in Babcock’s office at the MasterCard Centre on a quiet afternoon. The coach is preparing to get some last-minute preparations done before flying off to the U.S., to attend his daughter’s soccer game.