Maple Leafs hire Mike Babcock as new head coach

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Mike Babcock as their new head coach.

The team says in a news release he will be introduced at a news conference Thursday morning.

Babcock has spent the last 10 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008 and going to the final in 2009.

His contract expires at the end of June but the Red Wings had given him permission to negotiate with other teams.

The Leafs must send a third-round pick to Detroit as compensation.

Babcock will be introduced at an 11 a.m. news conference Thursday.

Toronto reportedly beat out several clubs for Babcock’s services, including Detroit, Buffalo and San Jose.

Babcock, a Saskatoon native, led Canada to two Olympic gold medals.

The Leafs fired head coach Randy Carlyle in January, replacing him on an interim basis with assistant Peter Horachek.

Babcock He compiled a 458-223-105 record with the Red Wings.

He also reached the Cup final with the Anaheim Ducks in 2002-03.

Babcock was behind Canada’s bench in the 2010 Vancouver Games, when his team claimed gold on home soil with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over the United States.

He returned for the 2014 Sochi Games and led the Canadians to gold in one of the most dominating Olympic runs in recent memory.

He also led Canada to gold at the 2004 world championship and is the only coach to win a Stanley Cup, world championship and Olympic gold medal.

The Canadian Press

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