Rob Ford wants Iron Mike to be next Maple Leafs head coach

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Photo Credit: Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports

Rob Ford is a Millionaire, a city councillor, an occasional radio host, the former mayor of Toronto, a football coach, a crack smoker, and a Hockey Hall of Fame board member. So it’s fair to say that he brings, uh, let’s call it a ‘unique perspective’ on topics big and small. 

From gravy railways to cunilingus to skipping the Pride Parade, Ford isn’t afraid to publicly express his unpopular opinions in loud and declarative tones. On Tuesday afternoon, he chimed in on who should take over the Maple Leafs as the organization’s next general manager and head coach.

Ford’s pick for general manager? He’s with pretty much everyone in the 6ix, in sharing the Mike Babcock pipe dream (pun intended). And who does Ford think should be the Maple Leafs’ next bench boss? For that Ford’s going off the board and throwing his weight behind a throwback candidate, Mr. ‘Iron’ Mike Keenan.

The controversial and opinionated former mayor shared his thoughts on the Maple Leafs’ search for a new coach and general manager on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon:

Look, everyone in Ontario wants the Maple Leafs to land Babcock in some capacity. It’s rare for Ford to share the majority view on anything, really, so perhaps that’s notable in and of itself, but it’s the Keenan pick that’s perhaps most interesting.

Keenan has ties to Toronto, having coached the University of Toronto Blues in the early 80s, and has made stops in eight different NHL cities including with the Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, and the Boston Bruins. He’s worked in Canadian markets, he’s worked in high intensity American markets, he’s won a Stanley Cup and a Jack Adams, and his hard driving style has occasionally inspired locker room insurrections. 

For the past two years Keenan has worked with iconic KHL club Magnitogorsk Mettalurg, leading the Russian-based squad to a Gagarin Cup championship in 2014 and to a 40-15-5 record this past season. Perhaps Keenan has softened a bit in his old age. Perhaps he deserves a second look in the NHL.

Or maybe Ford is just betraying his lack of hockey bona fides with this zany suggestion. What does he think about which pending free agents the Maple Leafs should retain?

Yikes. Stick to football, Mr. Ford.

Seriously though, Keenan is an exceedingly interesting character, and if his name popped up in the Maple Leafs’ coaching search from a credible source, that could be all kinds of fun. Katie Baker’s profile of Keenan for Grantland.com from last Spring is some ace hockey writing and gives some interesting perspective on the former head coach’s work ethic and maturation as a human person (and with a slick Frozen reference in the headline to boot!). 

If Ford’s Maple Leafs suggestions are worth your time at all, and admittedly they’re probably not, then at least allow them to lead you to that fantastic article.