The Mike Babcock sweepstakes are heating up.
Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan and Co. recently travelled to the world hockey championships in Prague where they made another pitch to the soon-to-be most coveted coaching free agent on the market.
But what if the Leafs fall flat in landing Babcock? What’s Plan B?
More past the jump…
Well, as Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wrote in his Sunday column, the Leafs could revisit the possibility of hiring ex-Senators coach Paul MacLean — an assistant under Babcock in Detroit and Anaheim — or former New Jersey bench boss Pete DeBoer.
From the Toronto Sun:
The Leafs kicked tires on Paul MacLean and Pete DeBoer as interim coaches after firing Randy Carlyle. With Babcock’s free agency about to end and Todd McLellan on his way to Edmonton, do the Leafs turn back in that direction or does Blashill become their target?
Plan B may not be a bad option for the Leafs. First and foremost, they won’t have to give up a third-round pick to land a coach. Secondly, both MacLean and DeBoer have proven they can both win at the highest level.
Maple Leafs group at worlds in Prague expected to make one last pitch to Mike Babcock this weekend.
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) May 16, 2015
DeBoer took the Devils to a Cup final in 2012 and MacLean has a title as an assistant under Babcock with the Red Wings.
According to Simmons, there’s a strong chance Babcock will return to Detroit for an 11th season.
My read on Babcock: He looked around. He listened. He saw what was available. And he’ll return to Detroit because there’s no better place for him.
Other coaches you can throw in Toronto’s Plan B include: Dan Bylsma, Guy Boucher, John Tortorella, Jeff Blashill, Todd McLellan (Unless things fall apart with Oilers).