Open letter to Mike Babcock;

Thank you for your time, your effort and your commitment to take our Leafs from the joke of the league to a contender.  Your work ethic and commitment to making the players better men will serve as valuable lessons for this team when they make the next step.  I'm sorry you won't be here when it happens, you deserve to celebrate with them.
I wish it worked out in Toronto, I really do.  I think you brought a lot of qualities this organization was badly missing and when the core of this group finally does put it all together to win it all, your finger prints will still be on this team.
I wish the media and fans in this city were a little easier to deal with.  That said, I think you might still have a job if you had listened to some suggestions.  Trust me, I realize part of the problem in this city has historically been our coaches and management giving into the demands of the fans and media but I can't help but think if you weren't so stubborn you would have seen that we are capable of being right every once in a while,  It must suck for people in the spotlight these days, now that every idiot has a voice (ask Don Cherry) but every once in a while you were making a mistake that was obvious to even us dumb Leaf fans and you would refuse to adjust based on your opinion that Leaf fans can't possibley be right.  We usually aren't.  But when something isn't working, sometimes the answer is obvious.  
You demand your players be able to adjust their game to their opponent but you never adjusted yours.  You never stopped using your backup in the second game of back to backs, no matter who the opponent is.  I understood your logic 2 years ago and McElhinny was up to the task,  But when we brought in a young kid who earned a shot, you refused to alter your strategy to ease him into the NHL.  It probably cost him his career.  If I am a GM, one of the main things I look for in a coach is his ability to make the most of the assets he's been given.  Garret Sparks was an asset, a valuable asset that we spent 6 years developing.  He should have been eased into the lineup against weak opponents, not thrown to the wolves against the best teams in the league with a tired Leaf team in front of him.  If you used him properly, things might look different today.  Maybe we have a decent back up at a reasonable price, maybe he would contend for a starter job one day or at the very least, we coulda got something for him in a trade.  Josh Leivo was another valuable asset that you mishandled and we ended up losing him for next to nothing.  Last year you wasted a year of Justin Holl's development.  When your boss gives you tools to do a job, you do your best with what you have been given.  You don't let assets go to waste, it's bad business.  By the way Mike, Sheldon Keefe had great success with Sparks, Lievo and Holl.  I bet he wishes he had Sparks as his back up today.  
The other lesson you never learned was pulling the goalie.  Your first year with the Leafs we were trying to tank, so when you pulled the goalie with 2 - 3 minutes left, I smiled knowing it would probably lead to a last place finish.  Thanks for that by the way.  You are a winner, it could not have been easy for you to steer that ship into the basement.  When you kept pulling your goalie with 3 minutes left the following year i started to get frustrated.  When you continued to do it last year, I thought, he's doing it just to piss off the fans.  It's not llike you were getting good results, why would you keep trying?  You are a smart man and a good coach, I assumed you learned from your past mistakes, but once again this season, the back up is playing game 2 and you are pulling the goalie too early.  You leave valuable points on the table by refusing to adjust these things. 
You preach growth and evolution in your players but you didn't grow or evolve in Toronto. You can't expect different results if you don't change your approach  Dubas might not have built the team you wanted, but he built you a team that can contend when they are properly motivated and deployed.  That was your job.  You did it well for longer than most people can in this city, but your profession is ruthless.  At least you were well compensated while you were here.
I liked the effort we had against Vegas, I thought a few more games of that and we might get out of this slump.  I might have given you this road trip to get things back on track, but I believe if you weren't willing to make adjustments to your strategy, this was inevitable.  I am glad you never had to suffer the "Fire Babcock!" chants that were probably coming your way in our next home game, get out of town with your dignity and one day we will remember you fondly.
Until then, please know that some Leaf fans appreciated all you did to help turn this franchise around.  I am just sorry you won't get to celebrate with us when it all comes together.
You won't be out of work for long, enjoy the time off.  Relax, you just had the most stressful job in your industry, you have earned a break.  When you do resurface, as an NHL coach,  if you face the Leafs, please be sure to use your backup goalie against us in the second game of a back to back and if we are up by a goal in the third, by all means, pull your goalie really early, 3 minutes never worked try 4.
Thank you for turning this franchise around and thank you for the gold medals.
Excited to see what Keefe will do

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