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Mike Babcock becomes highest-paid coach in NHL history – SportsUntapped.com
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Added May 25th, 2015 by Ian

Mike Babcock becomes highest-paid coach in NHL history
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have just made Mike Babcock the highest-paid coach in NHL history by signing him to an eight-year deal worth $50 million. Babcock had spent the past 10 years with the Detroit Red Wings and his contract was due to expire at the end of June. However, the Red Wings gave several teams permission to talk to him, including the Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres thought they had a done deal with Babcock, but he spurned them at the last minute to sign with the Leafs.

Toronto was looking for a new bench boss after general manager Dave Nonis and interim head coach Peter Horachek were fired at the end of the regular season along with numerous other front-office personnel and scouts. The team has now taken care of the head coaching duties, but is still searching for a GM. In Babcock, they’re getting a coach who has won a Stanley Cup as well as an Olympic gold medal and a World Cup with Canada.

Not all of the Maple Leafs’ fans are happy with the signing though since they feel it’s far too long at eight years and Babcock’s being extremely overpaid at just over $6 million per year. The Leafs had to pay off the last three coaches they fired over the past few years in Ron Wilson, Randy Carlyle and Horachek. What makes it more difficult for Leafs fans to digest is the fact that the club is the richest in the NHL and charges the highest ticket and concession-stand prices in the league. And let’s not forget that they haven’t won the Stanley Cup since the 1966/67 season. In fact, they’ve never even made it to the Finals since then.

However, Babcock now becomes the 30th coach in the history of the storied franchise and certainly has his work cut out for him. There’s a good chance he lasts nowhere eight years in Toronto, but the club is now on the hook for his $50 million salary regardless of how long he stays. The Red Wings offered him a five-year contract to stay in Detroit and the Sabres reportedly offered him even more than the Leafs did to try and lure him to Buffalo.

In typical Maple Leafs fashion, they’ll no likely have to pay the Red Wings some sort of compensation for signing Babcock. If they had just waited another five weeks or so he could have signed for nothing since he would have been a free agent. In his 10 seasons with the Red Wings, Babcock’s coaching record was 458-223-15. Babcock now becomes one of the best-paid coaches in any sport across the world at US $6.25 million per year. While the NHL has a salary cap in place to stop teams from overpaying players there’s no such system in place when it comes to overpaying coaches.

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