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Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Mike Babcock

Leafs tie can to Babcock

Mike Babcock is out as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The firing was announced Wednesday afternoon by team president Brendan Shanahan.

Babcock lasted just 23 games into a season of high hopes for a Leafs team expected to challenge for a Stanley Cup.

Instead, the club has stumbled, losing six straight. they are fifth in the Atlantic Division with a pedestrian 9-10-4 record.

"Today, we made the decision to relieve Mike Babcock of his coaching duties," said Shanahan is a news release.

"Over parts of the last five seasons, Mike has played an integral part in changing the direction of our franchise. Mike's commitment and tireless work ethic has put our organization in a better place, and we are extremely grateful and appreciative of the foundation he has helped us build here."

Babcock was hired in May of 2015. During his four plus seasons, the Leafs amassed a record of 173-133-44.

The team made the playoffs the past three seasons, but failed to get out of the first round each time.

Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe will take over the head coaching reigns.

The Leafs are in the midst of a western road trip that still has stops in Arizona Thursday and Colorado Saturday.



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