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Underperforming Maple Leafs fire coach Mike Babcock

In parts of five seasons under Babcock, the Maple Leafs posted a record of 173-133-45 in 351 regular-season games and an 8-12 record in three postseason appearances.

The Maple Leafs fired coach Mike Babcock on Wednesday.
The Maple Leafs fired coach Mike Babcock on Wednesday.
Gene J. Puskar/AP

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired coach Mike Babcock.

Team President Brendan Shanahan announced the move Wednesday and said Sheldon Keefe would take over as coach.

In parts of five seasons under Babcock, the Maple Leafs posted a record of 173-133-45 in 351 regular-season games and an 8-12 record in three postseason appearances.

After signing the richest coaching contract in NHL history at $50 million over eight years, Babcock got Toronto to the playoffs the last three seasons but was unable to advance beyond the first round.

The 39-year-old Keefe, who has a long history with Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas, was in his fifth season as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies.