Babcock out as Toronto Maple Leafs head coach

Leafs dropped their sixth straight game in Vegas on Tuesday.

With the Leafs mired in a six game losing streak, Mike Babcock was given his walking papers today. He has been replaced by Marlies bench boss and former Barrie Colt Sheldon Keefe.

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

 Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan announced Babcock's firing Wednesday Photo Credit NHL.com/Leafs
Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan announced Babcock’s firing Wednesday
Photo Credit NHL.com/Leafs

With a loss to Vegas on Tuesday night, Toronto’s record dropped to 9-10-4. The Maple Leafs next game is Thursday in Arizona.

“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 build here.” said Shanahan.

Babcock joined the Maple Leafs in May 2015 and over five seasons lead the club to 173 victories. Under his tenure, Toronto had an 8-12 record in three straight playoff appearances.

Keefe played 28 games with the Barrie Colts in the 1998/99 season and a full season with the club in 1999/00.

Sheldon Keefe courtesy @TorontoMapleLeafs

Keefe is no stranger to championships. He was with Barrie when the Colts won their only championship in the 99/00 season and Keefe helped guide the Toronto Marlies to the Calder Cup in 2018.