Mike Babcock on Wednesday called his former boss, Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings, "the best general manager in hockey."
Babcock, who left Detroit to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs this offseason, was speaking at their development camp, answering a question about how the Red Wings built their successful organization.
"They had real good scouts, they have the best general manager in hockey, a great owner [Mike Ilitch] who let the GM run a real good program, and they kept good people and they kept building," Babcock told the Maple Leafs website. "When they made mistakes they didn't dwell on it, they just went ahead and kept building. They hired good people and let them do their jobs.
"Everyone talks about [Nicklas] Lidstrom and [Steve] Yzerman and [Pavel] Datsyuk and [Henrik] Zetterberg, but the superstar there is Ken Holland."
Babcock coached 10 seasons under Holland, making the Stanley Cup Playoffs each year and winning the Stanley Cup in 2008. Holland has been GM in Detroit since July 1997; in that time the Red Wings have more wins than any NHL team and won the Stanley Cup three times (1998, 2002, 2008).
Babcock in May signed an eight-year contract with Toronto reportedly worth $50 million.
The Maple Leafs do not have a GM; they fired Dave Nonis from the position April 12.