Mike Babcock introduced in Toronto

Babcock leaves Detroit after 10 seasons


The Toronto Maple Leafs introduced their new head coach Mike Babcock during a news conference Thursday morning.

The team announced Babcock's hiring on Wednesday. Toronto has struck an 8-year, $50 million deal with the highly-coveted hockey coach. That will make him the highest paid coach in NHL history.

Babcock was joined Thursday by Maple Leafs president and alternate governor Brendan Shanahan, who got the coach to join his organization. The two answered questions from the media.

"I would like to start off by thanking Kenny Holland and the Detroit Red Wings for their professionalism and cooperation," said Shanahan.

Babcock said he is thrilled to be in Toronto.

"I have to tell you I felt like I was 25 years old. Scared to death here this morning. Excited about the opportunity and looking forward to the challenge," he said. "It's the Maple Leafs and I'm proud to be here today."

Babcock had been behind the Detroit Red Wings' bench the past 10 seasons. The team won the Stanley Cup under his leadership in 2008 and returned to the finals in 2009. He also won two consecutive gold medals with the Canadian Olympic team in 2010 and 2014.

"I loved working with Mike. I'm happy for him," said Red Wings GM Ken Holland. "I just know it was a difficult decision."

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