By Sarah Berkowitz
The Flyers made a splash on Monday by hiring Dave Hakstol, a college coach, to over see their resurrection from NHL also-ran to contender for the Stanley Cup.
Much has been made of why they broke the mold by going to college and also not going for a former Flyer employee, which is what they have nearly always done.
And the media were also shocked that they didn’t pursue Detroit coach Mike Babcock (above) more vigorously.
Now we know why.
There is no way owner Ed Snider would have splurged on a coach after a spending spree on players that has left them with very little wiggle room because of the salary cap.
Babcock left a coaching job he loved with the Red Wings to become coach of a Toronto Maple Leafs team with myriad roster problems.
Several media outlets are reporting that Babcock, 52, will receive $50 million over eight seasons, with much of the deal front-loaded.
That $6.25 million average salary is more than three times what Babcock ($2 million) earned this season in Detroit, and it is more than twice the salary of Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who was the highest paid coach at $2.75 million per season.
Undoubtedly, Babcock, a proud Canadian, is intrigued by becoming the coach of one the NHL’s most storied franchises and the challenge of helping team presidentBrendan Shanahan build a team that could win the team’s first Stanley Cup since 1967.