Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment abandoned common protocol Thursday afternoon, firing the Raptors underachieving General Manager, Rob Babcock. Come to think of it, it’s only common protocol when dealing with the hockey side of the business. Raptors officials are hired and fired like one-night stands. Prior to joining the team in 2004, Babcock certainly couldn’t have envisioned the next eighteen months being any more devastating. He had been a controversy from day one, when Vince Carter began sulking that Julius Erving was not chosen in his place. That sulk led to the ultimate trade of the over-pampered superstar, with the team fielding little in return. The five-year contract to Rafer Alston and the drafting of Rafael Araujo are just examples of two other mistakes the GM had made. However with the team going 13-14 after their NBA worst 1-15 start this season, Babcock’s grand plan was beginning to see a light. So why the move now? Was the fallout with coach Sam Mitchell too much to overcome, and could it affect the re-signing of allstar forward Chris Bosh? If so, then the move makes sense, because the franchise could not allow their GM to be the reason for losing another superstar.
Also there had to be some reaction to Kobe Bryant’s 81 points.
Now with the Maple Leafs being booed off the ice following their 8-4 loss to Buffalo yesterday evening, certainly something has to give. MLSE has set the precident with Babcock, but can they follow suit with their hockey franchise? The Leafs host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. Surely another loss on Hockey Night in Canada against their fabled rival would mean a change is inevitable….. Doesn’t it?