Reaction from those in the hockey world about Mike Babcock’s decision to sign a lucrative deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs continues to pour in.
Scotty Bowman, a nine-time Stanley Cup champion as a head coach in the National Hockey League, his final Cup coming with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002, offered his take on Babcock opting to coach in Toronto instead of Detroit and Buffalo.
“I wasn’t surprised Mike left Detroit,” Bowman told the Edmonton Journal. “The offers were high in Buffalo (and Toronto). I don’t know if Detroit wanted to go that high.
“They knew it would be tough to keep him because it had gone on for so long.
“There’s the lure of Toronto and Canada; it’s the biggest market, the wealthiest team.”
Bowman has never coached the Leafs, but won five Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens, another historic franchise, in the 1970s.
No other coach in NHL history has accrued as many wins as Bowman, who recently spoke about the bidding wars for his services toward the end of his time in Montreal.
From the Toronto Star:
The Maple Leafs, who had just been swept by Bowman’s Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs, were among his suitors.
Toronto owner Harold Ballard offered Bowman the job of general manager, dangling a contract that included escalating playoff bonuses, a company car and an undisclosed raise on his Montreal salary. The Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals also made pitches.
Bowman said there were many considerations that went into his eventual decision to accept a double role as Buffalo’s head coach and general manager. Money was definitely one. He was earning about $90,000 at the time in Montreal.
“I doubled my contract (in Buffalo),” he said.
The Anaheim Ducks can put the Chicago Blackhawks on the brink of elimination with a win in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final on Saturday, while the Blackhawks will battle to send this series back to California all even.
You can catch tonight’s game on NBCSN, or by live streaming it via NBC Sports Live Extra.
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Some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Vermette, Teravainen return for Blackhawks in Game 4
Blackhawks need more ‘quick plays’ to crack Anaheim’s structure
Vermette: ‘I’m not going to lie, I was not happy’ with Game 3 scratch
Now that the Boston Bruins have their new general manager, attention will now turn to the future of head coach Claude Julien.
Two years removed from a berth in the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins missed the playoffs this season, with the fallout including the firing of GM Peter Chiarelli. Don Sweeney, hired as the new GM earlier this week, pledged in his opening media availability that there would be change to personnel and staff.
In a later discussion with Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, Sweeney made it clear, however, that the decision on Julien will not be rushed.
“We’re a good cycling team, but we’re going to need to get to the interior of the ice. It’s not fun to go there, but they have to play there. Those are daily habits. We’ve done it in the past, and part of the conversations with Claude will be whether it’s just personnel, or is it an implementation of the message we need to get across,” Sweeney told CSNNE.com.
“And how do we go about doing that? Those will be part of the discussions. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Claude. He’s had a tremendous amount of success, and it would be foolhardy of me to make an impetuous decision. I need to make the right decision.”
It appears the Anaheim Ducks have made it their mission to make life as unpleasant as possible for Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.
On both Anaheim goals in a Game 3 win over Chicago on Thursday, Corey Perry was standing directly in front of Crawford, providing the perfect screen on shots from the point.
Patrick Maroon scored on a deflection, and Simon Despres got his shot past a helpless Crawford, who didn’t move over to his left in time and it can be argued that was because of Perry in front.
“Just came down to one play, I guess,” Crawford said, as per CSN Chicago. “I got bumped. I got bumped the whole game. It wasn’t enough to get called, but it was enough on that one (to be) a little distraction. I’ve got to find a way to not get caught up, I guess.”
The Anaheim Ducks now find themselves in a position to put the Chicago Blackhawks on the ropes. Thanks to a Game 3 victory in Chicago on Thursday, the Ducks now lead the Western Conference Final 2-1 after bouncing back from a triple overtime loss on Tuesday.
Anaheim successfully killed off five Chicago power plays, including a four-minute advantage in the first period. Frederik Andersen made 27 saves. And the Ducks got the winning goal from Simon Despres, who had never scored before in the post-season.
Afterward, defenseman Cam Fowler lauded the Ducks’ “resiliency” in the win.
Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters during his post-game press conference that this was a “character win.”