The fallout from the Toronto Maple Leafs decision to fire Mike Babcock and promote Sheldon Keefe from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League was the headlining topic on this week's episode of the NHL @TheRink podcast.
Co-hosts Dan Rosen and Shawn Roarke gave their reactions to the coaching change before being joined by Toronto-based NHL.com staff writer Mike Zeisberger shortly after he arrived in Phoenix on Thursday.
Toronto plays its first game under Keefe against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-A PLUS, SNO, NHL.TV).
Zeisberger discussed the coaching change and what it means to the slumping Maple Leafs, who have lost five in a row in regulation and are winless in their past six games (0-5-1). He also talked about the mechanics behind the decision to fire Babcock, questioned the timing of it and offered opinions on what changes Keefe could make to turn the Maple Leafs' season around.
Rosen and Roarke were also joined by Chicago-based NHL.com staff writer Tracey Myers, who compared the Maple Leafs' coaching change to the decision made last season by the Chicago Blackhawks to fire veteran coach Joel Quenneville and promote Jeremy Colliton from the AHL. Like Keefe, Colliton had never coached in the NHL prior to last season.
There was more discussed than the Maple Leafs.
Myers talked about the recently resurgent Blackhawks and outlined some differences in their game that has helped them go 5-1-1 in their past seven.
Rosen and Roarke also talked about the rise of the Dallas Stars, the struggling Nashville Predators, and offered their opinions on who is leading the pack in the races for various NHL trophies, including the Hart Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Calder Trophy and Jack Adams Award.
NHL @The Rink is free and listeners can subscribe on all podcast platforms. It also is available on NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and the NHL app.
Listen: New episode of NHL @The Rink