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TORONTO – 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."