The Leafs (in this case meaning Shanahan and Dubas) sort of wanted to fire Mike Babcock last spring when the Bruins put them away in game seven. They didn’t, and instead did the most common next thing: replacing the assistants around him. But it’s hard to parse out who pulled the strings most in this regard; Most would probably lean toward thinking Paul McFarland, brought in from the Panthers to help the powerplay, was a longtime Dubas target, while Dave Hakstol, a former NHL head coach himself, was more in line with Babcock.
I can’t say if that’s accurate because obviously no one is going to spill on it, but regardless, with Babcock out and Keefe coming in, it’s now worth asking “What is the point of having these guys around?”
Sheldon Keefe will take over behind the Leafs bench tonight, and he’ll be alongside these two coaches who he’s never worked with in the past. And it isn’t like they’ve been rockstars to this point either – the defence looks absurdly mistake-prone (supposedly Hakstol’s area) and the powerplay (McFarland’s brainchild) has been so bad it’s hard to describe. …
Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation