Where In The World Is Mike Babcock (Part Two)
I don't know if he's actually visited Philadelphia, but let's pretend because pretending is fun!
Mike pulled up to Wells Fargo around 7 or 8, and he yelled to the cabbie "$10 million or smell ya later!"
He looked at his kingdom, he was finally there, but then he realized, "wait, the Flyers suck. What the hell am I doing here?"
Ah yes, here we are. We are at peak Babcock watch. The best hockey coach in the world has announced that he will make his decision by May 20th, as to where he will be taking his next job. With Edmonton rumored to have locked up other big-timer free agent Todd McClellan (which is a shame, because I would have loved to write about Babcock going to Edmonton,) the list has been narrowed down to the Flyers and the Red Wings.
The Perks of Coaching in Philadelphia
- They have players like Zac Rinaldo, and Andrew MacDonald. These are true core players for the Flyers, and have provided a great history of winning and a true culture of leadership for their team.
- Babcock would finally be able to win a game at Wells Fargo Center.
You could say that coaching players like Claude Giroux would be a great perk, but let's be honest, he scored one even strength goal in the 2014-2015 season. Maybe Babcock would take his captaincy away from home, so he could finally go back to his birth-given name "Laude."
Philadelphia is a city filled with endless amounts of American history: The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, The Declaration House, and last but not least, the massacre of Ilya Bryzgalov's NHL career. What Canadian coach wouldn't love that?
The Disadvantages of Coaching in Philadelphia
- You have to live in Pennsylvania, the state where sports teams are nothing but a flash-in-the-pan.
- The Flyers haven't hoisted since Gerald Ford was in office.
- Philly Cheesesteaks are overrated garbage./
The Flyers, much like Detroit, do not have a solid defensive core. It's funny, because the best defenseman on their roster is currently working for the NHL, even though he's getting a paycheck from the Flyers. Years of incompetence from management have dug the organization into a hole during what should be the "glory years" of players like Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. At least they have a good goalie now, you know, Steve Mason. The guy who's NHL career was all but over going into the 2014-2015 season. I'm sure whatever he did this year is completely sustainable and should last for a long, long time.
The Visit (Wait, did this even happen?)
Though we haven't heard of any visits to Philadelphia from the media, I guess I'll just pretend like it happened.
Mike Babcock landed in The City of Brotherly Love, and immediately thought to himself "Wait, this isn't Pittsburgh? Shit." Nevertheless, Babcock did what any visitor of Philadelphia does, and went and got himself a famous cheesesteak.
Mmmm.. Who doesn't love a sandwich with meat and cheese?
I don't know about you, but Babs doesn't look so pleased there. As I said before, maybe it's because Philly Cheesesteaks are nothing but overpriced, unadulterated junk.
After that, Babcock made his way over the the Flyers facilities, where he was promptly greeted by GM Ron Hextall:
I can tell you how the visit would likely go: The Flyers will spend a whole day trying to convince Mike Babcock that their team who usually goes through a point in the season where they are red hot only to squander their winnings and fizzle off into the picture is a good place for him to bring his coaching expertise. The Flyers are a team who's only mainstay is the fact that they own hockey in Pennsylvania. Great, you have the Penguins' number. You can smoke out a team who is only slightly better than you. Proud of you!
The visit was short-lived, I tell you this right now. Why? When Mike Babcock found out that New Jersey is less than 40 miles away from Philly he left immediately.
The Selling Point
With the Flyers, much like the Maple Leafs and Sabres, money should be no object. They will not hesitate to make Babcock the highest-paid coach in the league. News flash: Any team wouldn't hesitate to do that. What exactly is the selling point on the Flyers franchise? Detroit has a stronger system of prospects, better players, and a more cultured history of winning. Not to mention Babcock's family loves it in Michigan. What is going to make the supercoach just uproot and leave? Ken Holland will undoubtedly match what the Flyers offer, and that is that.
Babcock has made it known that he wants to make his decision quickly. He has offers from multiple teams, obviously, and I'm not saying that Philadelphia has no chance, but I do think it's going to be hard for Ron Hextall to sweep Mike Babcock off his feet harder than the Red Wings swept Eric Lindros off the ice in 1997.