Desperation move by the Leafs to do this now. IMO.
edit to add: If Babcock's stupid enough to go to the Leafs, then let him go.
Nothing can save that franchise, and their media and fan base are very much the problem. Plus they hire s*** personnel because they may be a friend or "former" superstar or "former" successful management guys. But nothing can help that team. Horrible drafting, horrible hiring, one of the worst teams in terms of depth in the league - especially their farm and overseas. I mean BUFFALO and CAROLINA are in better long term shape.
As for Babcock - there is ZERO chance he will go north. He might want a change of scenery, more money, more control or whatever else, but the man is NOT stupid and even with Shanahan up there, it's not a big secret their team is in shambles top to bottom. No plan, just like their Toronto Raptors who win almost by accident with MLSE as owners. The Leafs just figure they are a great organization because they are based in Toronto - hockey central for Canada.
I thoroughly enjoy watching such an arrogant city [why?] lose and lose and lose. As recently as yesterday, they were fawning over Tie Domi's son on Team Canada - all because Domi was a Leaf and is considered one of their best ever! LOL. The local media wouldn't shut up about him. He is a decent player but superstar in the making? Nowhere I have read.
All signs point to Babcock leaving but bet your last dollar it will not be to Toronto. Their media is ridiculous. Babcock will look at 28 other teams first.