Mike Babcock to Maple Leafs fans: ‘Just be patient’

Mike Babcock has a message for Toronto Maple Leafs fans:

“Just be patient. It’s gonna happen.”

It’s a simple statement, but one that the new head coach will continue to preach as the new-look Maple Leafs enter the first season of their rebuild.

Babcock joined Dean Blundell & Co. on Sportsnet 590 The FAN Tuesday morning to talk about his excitement going into the season, getting to know his new players, and how he’ll determine when a prospect is ready to make his NHL debut.

Here are some excerpts:

On getting to know his new players … and their playing style:
Right now I have a face chart at my desk. I don’t even know who the players are. You know how they skate; when you see them on the ice, you know who they are, but you don’t know what they look like … When I’ve bumped into [the players] here, or anyone I’ve met individually, we’ve had fairly good conversations. Until I’m around them for a period of time, through exhibition, I’m really not going to know who they are as a player.

On the person vs. the player:
What I try to do, is I never confuse the player and the person. I love coaching hockey. I love the guys … and yet, just because I think you’re a good man and you try hard, doesn’t mean you get to play. It’s about what you do when you’re on the ice. I try not to confuse the two, and I’m going to get to know them both as people and as players and we’re going to have good people here that compete hard and play hard.

On what he’s looking for in his players:
In the short term, it’s easy to be on your best behaviour. But who you are is what you do every day and it’s what you do when no one’s watching — that’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for authentic people that bring it every single day, and we’re going to end up with a good group of that.

On how he knows when a kid is ready for the NHL:
The way I look at it is, it’s really simple for young guys … Can you help us? Not ‘can you get into the lineup?’ but ‘Can you help us.’

When they’re ready to play, they’ll be Leafs.

Source:: sportsnet.ca

Related Stories

Leave a Reply