The move of Mike Babcock to Toronto is getting big headlines, especially in Toronto – as would be expected.
It got us to thinking about other high-profile coaching hirings from the past.
Here are a few that come to mind:
Fred Shero – Came to New York with much fanfare after leading the Philadelphia Flyers to two Stanley Cups
Punch Imlach – When he signed on to be the GM and Coach of the new Sabres, it made for an instant rivalry with the long-standing Leafs. Some are of the mind that Buffalo left at the altar in the Babcock sweepstakes could stoke the Buffalo-Toronto rivalry
Red Kelly – After the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1967, Kelly announced his retirement as a player, and negotiated with the expansion Los Angeles Kings to be their inaugural coach on the strength of Imlach’s assertion that Toronto would not stand in the way of Kelly’s coaching career. However, Imlach insisted that Los Angeles draft Kelly in the expansion draft, and after the Kings failed to do so, refused to release Kelly’s rights until Los Angeles traded minor-league defenceman Ken Block to the Leafs
Dick Irvin, Sr. – Irvin led the Leafs to a Cup, but later Conn Smythe soured on him. Canadiens coming off a ten-win season, were looking for a new coach. Smythe suggested that the Canadiens hire Irvin, solving both team’s issues. Soon afterwards, Tommy Gorman went and picked him up and drove him to Montreal to become coach of the team
Herb Brooks – The Miracle on Ice winning U.S. Olympic coach made headlines when he became coach of the New York Rangers. After his Olympic gold medal win, Brooks moved to Switzerland for a year to coach HC Davos in the National League A. he came to the Rangers in 1981 and stayed until 1985, in the process becoming the first American-born coach in Rangers’ team history to win 100 games. He also coached the Minnesota North Stars (from 1987 to 1988), New Jersey Devils (1992–93), and Pittsburgh Penguins (1999–2000).
Mike Kennan and John Tortorella – Made waves wherever they signed because of the reputations.Share