Maple Leafs president and alternate governor Brendan Shanahan announced that Babcock has been relieved of his coaching duties and Sheldon Keefe has been named the club's new head coach.
Former Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe will take over the duties behind the bench.
In the past five seasons under Babcock, the Leafs posted a record of 173-133-45 in 351 regular season games and an 8-12 record in the playoffs.
Babcock took over as Leafs coach in May 2015 and despite the team finishing dead last in his first year, he helped to rebuild them into postseason contenders.
Sheldon Keefe, head coach of the Leafs' AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, will step into the head-coaching role on an interim basis. He won his only Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and brought them back to the Finals the following season.
The 31st coach in franchise history, Keefe worked with a number of current Leafs when they were with the minor-league Marlies.
Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock has been fired.
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Keefe joined the Marlies after a successful three-year stint as head coach for the Sault Ste.
Keefe has also served as an assistant coach for Team Canada's Men's Summer U18 team which earned a gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in 2015.
Ahead of Thursday night's game, Shanahan, Dubas and Keefe are all scheduled to speak with the media in the morning.
Babcock's Leafs stumbled this season despite a star-studded forward group led by Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, a defence corps headlined by Morgan Rielly, Tyson Barrie and Jake Muzzin, and goalie Frederik Andersen. With the defeat, the Leafs fell to 9-10-4 on the season.
Toronto's lack of attention to detail in the defensive zone the last two seasons and sub-par special teams were both troubling aspects Babcock was unable to rectify, even after changing assistants this season.
"That starts with management but includes coaches and the players as well".
We have a non-conference National Hockey League game to consider when the Toronto Maple Leafs and Arizona Coyotes meet for game one of their two-game season series. "The expectation each and every year should be greater than the previous year if you're going in the right direction".