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Babcock wants to put Maple Leafs 'back on the map'

NHL.com @NHL

Mike Babcock won two gold medals coaching Canada's team. His next goal is to win with "Canada's team."

Babcock was introduced as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, one day after it was announced he was leaving the Detroit Red Wings.

"I believe this is Canada's team and we need to put Canada's team back on the map," Babcock said.

The Maple Leafs have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs once since the 2005-06 season, losing in seven games to the Boston Bruins in the first round in 2013. This season the Maple Leafs had 68 points, fourth-fewest in the NHL.

Babcock coached Canada to a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics, and in 10 seasons with the Red Wings made the playoffs every season, won the Stanley Cup in 2008 and got back to the Cup Final in 2009.

He knows things will be far harder in Toronto.

"This is going to be a massive, massive challenge," Babcock said.

Terms of Babcock's contract were not released, but Sportsnet and TSN reported it to be an eight-year contract worth about $50 million.

"I'm proud to be here today," Babcock said. "I look forward to the process, the battle, the pain, the fun, the journey. It's going to be a long one but it's going to be a lot of fun."

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