Roundtable: Should Toronto Maple Leafs Management Trade Or Fire Someone?

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 4: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas during interview with Bruce Arthur (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 4: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas during interview with Bruce Arthur (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – APRIL 21: Mike Babcock
TORONTO, ON – APRIL 21: Mike Babcock /

Alex Hobson

I think if the Leafs are going to trade or fire ANYONE, it’s Mike Babcock.

On that note, I do want to see how the team does with a full, healthy roster. One featuring Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott, and John Tavares. This slow start to the season could be an indication that Hyman and Dermott did much more for the team than what initially meets the eye, but I still don’t think this team is going to win a cup under Babcock.

Here’s the thing. As I wrote in my piece from earlier this week, Babcock is a universally respected coach (unless you’re Mike Commondore) and nobody is doubting his resume. But the fact of the matter is, he has a coaching style that revolves heavily around physicality and defence. It may have worked for the Red Wings in 2008, but one quick glance at this roster tells you that the Leafs will not succeed playing this style of hockey. And while I also agree that this team needs an element of physicality outside of Jake Muzzin, making one quick trade for a 6’4 bruiser isn’t going to turn things around immediately.

It’s clear what vision Kyle Dubas had when he took over as GM. This team will thrive on speed and offence, and the roster shows you that immediately. And it’s a style of game that CAN work. But if it’s going to work, it’s not going to be under Babcock’s coaching style. It’s like putting a square peg in a round hole. If Babcock somehow DOES light a fire under this team and they end up winning it all, I will gladly eat my words. But I just don’t see it happening.