Sports

Maple Leafs introduce Mike Babcock, a coach with a big contract and big expectations

  • Toronto Maple Leafs' new head coach Mike Babcock laughs during an NHL hockey press conference in Toronto, Thursday, May 21, 2015.  Babcock spent the last 10 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2008. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Toronto Maple Leafs' new head coach Mike Babcock laughs during an NHL hockey press conference in Toronto, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Babcock spent the last 10 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2008. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • A sign welcoming Mike Babcock as the new head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey club is displayed outside of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Babcock spent the last 10 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2008. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    A sign welcoming Mike Babcock as the new head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey club is displayed outside of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Babcock spent the last 10 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2008. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • Toronto Maple Leafs new head coach Mike Babcock, right, speaks to reporters with team president Brendan Shanahan during an NHL hockey press conference in Toronto, Thursday, May 21, 2015.  Babcock spent the last 10 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2008. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Toronto Maple Leafs new head coach Mike Babcock, right, speaks to reporters with team president Brendan Shanahan during an NHL hockey press conference in Toronto, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Babcock spent the last 10 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2008. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

Mike Babcock has been introduced as the Toronto Maple Leafs' new coach and says restoring the team will be a "massive, massive challenge."

The former Detroit Red Wings coach takes over a team that finished 27th in the league this season. He said at a news conference Thursday that he is taking the job with "eyes wide open."

Babcock spent the last 10 years behind the Detroit bench. His new team is coming off a season that cost head coach Randy Carlyle, interim coach Peter Horachek and many other club officials their jobs.

Babcock arrives with great expectations and a reported $50 million, eight-year contract that makes him the NHL's highest-paid coach.

He acknowledges that Toronto has "made a long-term commitment to me" and "in turn, I've made a long-term commitment to the Leafs and our plan is to grow the team."