No doubt about it, the big story from yesterday was the Leafs landing Mike Babcock as their new head coach. And they got his name on a contract for the bargain basement price of just $50M over eight years. Maybe bargain isn't exactly the word I'm looking for, but even if they overpaid (and I'm not sure they did, how many wins is Babcock worth a season?) this isn't a stupid move on their part.
Building a team in the salary cap era is an efficiency contest. If you overpay a player by $1M that's money you can't spend elsewhere in your lineup. Missing the mark with players hurts, but the salaries of coaches and management don't count against the cap, so a smart team with nearly endless resources - in other words, the Leafs - would be stupid not to spend whatever it takes to secure the personnel that they feel give them the best chance to win. Nice work, Brendan Shanahan.
More on Babcock to the Leafs
As Expected Leafs Land Best Coach In League - Pension Plan Puppets
Why wouldn't the Leafs, the greatest and handsomest team in the whole world, sign Mike Babcock? Where else would he sign? Detroit is a crumbling warzone propped up solely by Little Caesar's Pizza and Buffalo is home to 1.2 million people who wished they could move somewhere else.
The Maple Leafs probably overpaid Mike Babcock, and it was worth it - CBSSports.com
Paying Mike Babcock $50 million over eight years is a huge investment, but it was still a smart thing to do.
Mike Babcock Leaves Red Wings, Signs with Maple Leafs - Winging It In Motown
Dreger reports that Mike Babcock has signed a $50 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs
Sabres front office "livid" about how Babcock handled the last two days - Die By The Blade
Buffalo was so confident they'd land him that they had a press conference scheduled according to the Buffalo News' Tim Graham.
2015 NHL Playoffs Game 16 recap: Kucherov's OT winner gives Bolts 2-1 series lead - Raw Charge
The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers went back and forth, each building and then losing a two-goal lead, before the Lightning settled things with a goal from Nikita Kucherov in overtime.
Rangers vs. Lightning Recap: Rangers Tie It Late in Game 3, but Fall Early in Overtime - Blueshirt Banter
The New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning dueled it out tonight, but the Lightning were able to capitalize early on in overtime to snag a 2-1 series lead.
Watch Tyler Johnson's 12th goal of the playoffs - Raw Charge
12 goals. Not a bad playoff so far.
Rangers Vs. Lightning: More Of The Same - Blueshirt Banter
Notes from the Rangers Game 3 loss to the Lightning.
Something Oilers Related
From waiver wire fodder to bona fide NHLer, Anton Lander made giant strides in 2014-15 - Bruce McCurdy - Cult of Hockey
Call Anton Lander "the one that didn't get away". Not for lack of opportunity, mind, as the entire NHL threw Edmonton Oilers a massive mulligan on October 6 when they all passed on the chance to claim Lander off the waiver wire.
The End of the Barons
Tend The Farm ~Utica Wins Game Seven, An Era Ends
The Utica Comets win game seven, will face the Grand Rapids Griffins in the West Finals. Meanwhile, an era ends in OKC.
And Because the Grateful Dead Are Awesome
The Grateful Dead's Long Goodbye: Inside Rolling Stone's New Issue - Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone takes a comprehensive look at the post-Jerry Garcia Grateful Dead and the preparation for their "last stand" in our new cover story.