SUNRISE — Mike Babcock has yet to meet in person with any of the Toronto Maple Leafs players. While he did speak to all of them over the phone, first he wanted to “get through the draft and see who was on our team.”
For now, Phil Kessel remains a Maple Leaf. As do Dion Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul, Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, Jonathan Bernier, James Reimer, and all the other Leafs who’ve had their names raised in trade speculation.
Whoever ends up staying, their new coach has a message for them.
“The number-one characteristic of a Toronto Maple Leaf is a good human being. Period,” Babcock said. “So if you don’t fit that, you’re not going to be here. Anything that’s been going on is going to get cleaned up.
“We’re going to be a fit, fit team. We’re going to be a team that comes to the media everyday, after a win, after a loss, after practice, and owns their own stuff. Period.”
It should be noted that the media did not ask Babcock about the media. He was answering an open-ended question about his “expectations” for the players.