Hope has descended from hockey heaven for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Mike Babcock has been hired as the bench boss for the struggling franchise, the team announced Wednesday.
And it's a costly hire, according to TSN analyst Bob McKenzie.
Babcock's salary in first three years of his eight-year deal is believed to be as much as $8M per year.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 20, 2015
The full value of the contract is expected to be around $50 million, said CBC analyst Elliotte Friedman.
To reset: Babcock to TOR. Eight-year deal, but there may be an "out" after five. Full value is approx $50M, but front loaded....— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 20, 2015
Babcock, widely considered one of the best coaches in hockey, led the Detroit Red Wings to a 458-223-105 regular season record after a decade behind the bench there.
Under his leadership, the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2008, as well as two Presidents' Trophies for best regular season record in the 2005/06 and 2007/08 seasons.
Babcock himself was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 2008 and 2014.
He previously coached the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from 2002 to 2004, leading them to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season there.
Babcock and Leafs president Brendan Shanahan are expected to meet with the media on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET.
He'll take the reins of a franchise that has made the playoffs only once since 2004.
The Leafs made the postseason in 2013, but were later dispatched by the Boston Bruins in seven games.
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