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Toronto Maple Leafs fire coach Mike Babcock

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ coach Mike Babcock has been fired following a slow start to the season. Babcock was hired by the Maple Leafs in May 2015.

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Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC
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Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock has been fired.

The Leafs have hired Sheldon Keefe, who worked as head coach of the Maple Leafs’ American Hockey League affiliate in Toronto as head coach.

“Today, we made the decision to relieve Mike Babcock of his coaching duties and named Sheldon Keefe our new head coach,”  said President Brendan Shanahan in the press release. “Over parts of the last five seasons, Mike has played an integral role in changing the direction of our franchise.”

Babcock was hired by the Maple Leafs in May 2015.

“Mike’s commitment and tireless work ethic has put our organization in a better place and we are extremely grateful and appreciative of the foundation he has helped us build here,” said Shanahan.

The Maple Leafs went 173-133-45 in 351 over five seasons with Babcock as coach. He also went 8-12 in three consecutive post-season appearances.

Babcock had originally signed an eight-year contract worth $50 million—an average of $6.25 million per season—making him the highest-paid coach in NHL history.

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