Don Cherry wasted no time in singing (literally) the praises of Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan for his hiring of much sought-after head coach Mike Babcock.
“Shanahan, good for him. He put the money out there — a lot of money — but [Babcock]’s going to be worth it for sure,” Cherry said during Wednesday’s Coach’s Corner segment.
Earlier in the day, Babcock signed a massive eight-year deal worth $50 million to join Toronto.
“Why should he not get that?” asked Cherry, who previously warned Babcock about joining a rebuilding club.
Cherry believes that one of Babcock’s biggest strengths is his ability to bring players together and form an identity — something the Leafs desperately need.
“The Leafs right now have a lot of talent — they really do. But they don’t have a team,” he said. “[Babcock] is one guy that can bring the team together like he did in the Olympics. It’s fantastic the way he can do that.”
And as debate rages on about how Babcock will fit into — and ultimately change — the Maple Leafs’ culture, Cherry set the record straight:
“He is going to run the ship. No way he’s coming over [to Toronto] like I did in Colorado and somebody else is going to tell him what to do,” Cherry said. “He’ll work with everybody, but make no mistake: He’s going to run the ship.”