The Toronto Maple Leafs fired head coach Mike Babcock on Wednesday afternoon, and obviously, the internet exploded.
The Leafs have fired coach Mike Babcock. Sheldon Keefe has been named the team’s new head coach pic.twitter.com/ndyVPdhh8a— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) November 20, 2019
Social media chimed in once the news became official.
After the Pittsburgh debacle, Babcock being fired felt inevitable. I figured they'd wait for this road trip to end, but there's obvious urgency to try and save the season.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) November 20, 2019
In hindsight, Babcock should have been let go last spring. Not on same page with front office.
Hopefully the new Leafs coach is also a quality backup goalie.— Bonk's Mullet (@BonksMullet) November 20, 2019
Babcock was just a quarter of the way into year 5 of an 8-year, $50 million contract. So Leafs still on the hook for a big chunk of change. https://t.co/Vn1bdpfRFO— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBG) November 20, 2019
It was November 20th 2018 when the St Louis Blues fired Mike Yeo, head coach, and brought in Craig Berube who lead them to a championship.— Sarah Jenkins (@sarahjenkinsxo) November 20, 2019
The #Leafs are all in on a second-year GM, a rookie coach and a core under 23. ... Expect some growing pains.— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) November 20, 2019
Mike Babcock.— Dean Brown (@PxPOttawa) November 20, 2019
-only missed post season twice.
-been to final 3 times won cup in 08.
-got out of 1rst rd just once in 8yrs.
-last 10 yrs got out of 1st rd 3 times and lost in 2nd round all 3 times.
If you like Babs you focus on the first 2. If you dont like him it's the last 2.
Maple Leafs that Sheldon Keefe has coached:— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) November 20, 2019
(And he played against Jason Spezza) #Leafs
Imagine the @MapleLeafs picked an actual ‘hockey’ gm when they had the chance. They’d be a contender right now with Mark Hunter— Brandon Prust (@BrandonPrust8) November 20, 2019
Folks....I have been dreaming about this moment for years......— Mike Commodore (@commie22) November 20, 2019
No matter what you think of Mike Babcock, he will be a head coach again in the NHL if he wants to be.— Dean Brown (@PxPOttawa) November 20, 2019
There are no guarantees that Keefe will be the miracle cure this team needs but I think we can all be sure a change was needed. If you harbour resentment for the players or new coach, that’s a you problem. Hopefully everyone else sees this as a chance for our team to improve.— Active Stick (@TheOakLeafs) November 20, 2019
Historically, whenever the Maple Leafs have a choice between stability and upheaval, they choose upheaval.— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) November 20, 2019
#Leafs players must take responsibiity for the start as well. Dubas too. Keefe was always in line for this job, it's just coming a few years earlier than we might have expected.— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) November 20, 2019
#LeafsForever At this pivotal point in the season, I think the players and GM also need to look in the mirror and take responsibility too.— Bill Comeau (@Billius27) November 20, 2019
Not to mention the staff and asst coaches who have underperformed in areas like Special Teams. Special Teams are an urgent priority.
Babcock was the right coach for the 2015-16 Maple Leafs, ending the rebuild, and took the 16-17 team with the rookie core to the playoffs. But this team outgrew him and can’t afford to waste a prime contending year (we’ll see if the damage is irreversible now)— Arun (@Arunthings) November 20, 2019
I would think natural Babcock ends up back in Detroit with Stevie Y. But we will see.— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) November 20, 2019
I honestly do feel for Mike Babcock. He wanted to help bring Toronto a cup. And I still don't think he's a bad coach, but perhaps he just wasn't the right coach for this club.— birky (@b1rky) November 20, 2019
Babcock shared some heartfelt words about the team and his time in Toronto.
A quick message from Babs pic.twitter.com/zK9U9IAe7m— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) November 20, 2019
More NHL coverage from Yahoo Sports