Mike Babcock is no longer head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, with GM Brendan Shanahan making the announcement on Wednesday and revealing Sheldon Keefe, coach of Leafs farm team the Toronto Marlies, has been tapped as his replacement.
“Today, we made the decision to relieve Mike Babcock of his coaching duties and named Sheldon Keefe our new head coach. Over parts of the last five seasons, Mike has played an integral role in changing the direction of our franchise,” said Shanahan in a statement. “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.”
As Global News reports, Babcock signed an eight-year, $50-million contract in May 2015. While Babcock has brought the Leafs to the playoffs for the past three consecutive seasons, Toronto has been unable to make it past the first round.
In addition to coaching, Babcock also got involved with the Movember Foundation to come up with Babsocks, special Leaf-themed socks with a cartoon likeness of Babcock’s face on the side that have proven to be a must-wear item for Leafs fans.
Following news of Babcock’s firing, Babsocks began to trend on Twitter thanks to tweets like these:
With files from Global News.