The Mike Babcock sweepstakes has begun. Ken Holland and the Detroit Red Wings have opened up the window to allow those who are in dire need of help, because for some reason they can't figure out how to create a competent hockey team. Thanks to the great resources we have here at Winging it in Motown, we've gotten ahold of some EXCLUSIVE content that shows Mike Babcock's visits to the cities in need of a hero to fix their beloved hockey organizations.
First on Babcock's schedule? The hockey mecca of the world. Toronto, Ontario. A lovely city filled with passionate fans who have spent years watching their hockey team be utter ostrich excrement due to poor management, coaching, and just about everything else you can imagine.
The problem with the Toronto Maple Leafs isn't the team itself.. They have great players like Phil Kessel, Nazem Kadri, and uh.. That one guy. Yeah, that guy is good at hockey. The real problem is that living in Toronto makes you dumber. Just look at Randy Carlyle, a man who went from winning a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks, to coaching one of the bottom-feeding teams in the league, thus making him actually pants-on-head stupid.
Despite having an utter fartwagon hockey organization, the Toronto Maple Leafs can offer up some very enticing perks for their staff. Truckloads of money (even though it's Canadian, so is it actually even worth anything?), a spotlight in the hockey world, and of course, wonderful breakfast spreads. Problem is, for some reason when you stand in front of the historic Maple Leaf logo, all logic and basic knowledge go bye-bye. The Leafs treated Mike Babcock to one of their luxurious breakfasts on the day of his visit, but the problem is, no one knows how to use a toaster. Even Babcock forgot, because, well, that's what happens when you're in Toronto. Don't believe me? Look.
It's a god damn toaster, dude. You put the bread in, the bread comes out, and you have toast. Is this really what you want? Is all the money worth it? Suit yourself, I guess.
All appliance issues aside, the Maple Leafs are far from the best choice for Mike Babcock. Brendan Shanahan has decided to take the "scorched-earth" approach, and completely wipe the slate clean. He fired scouts, coaches, and will likely end up dealing some of the Leafs' core players to bolster their epic rebuild. Mike Babcock is known as the best coach in hockey.. Do you really think the best coach in hockey wants to sit on his hands and wait for his team to be good? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and if you can't get out of bed and make yourself some toast, then maybe you should think twice.
Next on Babcock's list is Buffalo, New York. Buffalo is a proud city, much like Detroit. A city who loves their hockey team, despite them being the detritus of the NHL (understatement) for so long. Buffalo spent all of the 2014-2015 regular season being actively the worst team in the league. In fact, the 2014-2015 Buffalo Sabres were the most abhorrent team the NHL has seen in the analytics era. Through all of the pain and suffering that they put their devoted fans through, they couldn't even win the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. That's right, the Buffalo Sabres suck so much, that they actually suck at sucking. That sucks, man.
Like Toronto, the Buffalo Sabres are a wealthy organization who will certainly offer Mike Babcock colossal amounts of money. Again, is it worth swimming in an olympic size pool full of Dead Presidents to try and weather the storm that is known as Buffalo Sabres hockey? I guess the nice thing is that they put Babcock up in a quiet little home during his stay. We managed to get a photo of it before he arrived..
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the snow. Why would anyone in their right mind live in a city where it snows over 70 INCHES?! Seventy. As you can see, Mike's temporary home was more buried than the Sabres this season. We all know Mike Babcock is a man who loves his family. He's a wonderful husband, and father. Trust me when I say this, moving his family to Buffalo would be a great way to show them how much he loves them. (sarcasm)
Don't get me wrong, not everything is complete doom & gloom in Buffalo. They are famous for one of the best foods in the world: Chicken wings! Everyone loves chicken wings, it's a known fact. Even Mike Babcock loves chicken wings, we found him at the local spot indulging in some of these spicy snacks during his stay:
Mmmmm, that looks tasty. Polish it off with a cold Canadian brew. Life doesn't get much better than this! Oh hey, Mike.. You got a little something on your face!
The truth is that buffalo wings are great, but probably not enough to keep Mike Babcock. Hate to break it to you, but your team sucks, Buffalo. You're far from being done with this rebuild, and Mike Babcock is destined for bigger things. Jack Eichel is going to be a great piece in your organization, but even he won't pull you out of the ditch. It was a nice try, but better luck next time.
So that does it for this version of Where In The World Is Michael Babcock Jr..
Where will his next stop be? Only time will tell. The window is closing, though.. Keep in mind that he will be able to speak to teams until the end of May. Where will he end up? Who knows? But I think Toronto and Buffalo are pretty far off on his list.. He is a smart guy, after all.