Mike Babcock’s formal introduction to the media as Maple Leafs coach, plus the latest on the Senators, Oilers, Canucks, Jets and Canadiens.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs formally introduced Mike Babcock as their new head coach in a press conference yesterday. Among the highlights was Babcock saying his new eight-year, $50 million deal indicates he’s committed to the club over the long haul. While he’s determined to put “Canada’s Team” back on the map, Babcock stressed patience while suggesting the club’s rebuild could be painful. He also denied he had a deal in place with the Buffalo Sabres before signing with the Leafs.
THE CANADIAN PRESS (VIA THE GLOBE AND MAIL): Donna Spencer reports Babcock’s lucrative new deal will change the landscape for NHL coaches’ salaries.
OTTAWA SUN: “Officials at the Toronto General Hospital’s University Health Network made it clear (Senators owner Eugene) Melnyk didn’t jump the queue because his liver didn’t come off the deceased list and any person can appeal for a living donor.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the article notes, Melnyk did have the advantage of drawing upon the Senators’ large fan base when he issues his plea for a donor. Still, he shouldn’t be faulted for that.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers will send a second-round draft pick to the Boston Bruins “at some point over the next three seasons” as compensation for signing former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli as their new GM. It’s expected they’ll also send a third-round pick to the San Jose Sharks as compensation for hiring coach Todd McLellan, whose new contract with the Oilers is five years and $15 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The article also notes there’s no indication if those picks are the Oilers or those they acquired from other clubs. A couple of readers recently inquired about why the Oilers must pay compensation for hiring Chiarelli and McLellan when they were fired by their former clubs. That’s because they still had term left on their contracts and remained bound to their former clubs, thus requiring their permission to speak to other teams.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: An interview with Canucks GM Jim Benning regarding the club’s prospects.
NBC SPORTS: Forward and restricted free agent Alexander Burmistrov, who spent the past two seasons in the KHL, intends to return to the NHL next season. His rights are still held by the Winnipeg Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen if the Jets re-sign and retain him or shop his rights to another NHL team.
LA PRESSE: Restricted free agent Michael Bournival wonders if he still has a future with the Montreal Canadiens.