Mike Babcock decided to leave the Red Wings after all, but it wasn't for wonderful real estate in Clarence or Orchard Park. He has signed an enormous contract to become the next head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs according to TSN's Darren Dreger.
Sources say Mike Babcock has been hired by the Maple Leafs. Mammoth 8 yr contract believed to be around $50 million.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 20, 2015
Babcock coached Toronto's president Brendan Shanahan while in Detroit, and will be getting some player personnel power according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. The Maple Leafs currently do not have a general manager. The Sabres were likely unable (or unwilling, most likely) to give him the same opportunity.
Babcock has been behind the Red Wings bench the last ten years, making the playoffs every season and winning the Stanley Cup in 2008. He leaves with a 458-223-105 record with Detroit. Prior to his stay in the Motor City Babcock was behind the bench for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from 2002 to 2004, making a Stanley Cup final appearance in his first season.
UPDATE: It's official.
Brendan Shanahan, @MapleLeafs President & Alternate Governor, announced today that Mike Babcock has been named the Club's head coach.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) May 20, 2015
Babcock is the 30th head coach in @MapleLeafs history.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) May 20, 2015