Mike Babcock
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils have the opportunity to pursue a new head coach in Mike Babcock after he was fired from Toronto on Wednesday. 

Kyle McKenna

Let the speculation begin.

New Jersey Devils fans are desperate for a new head coach, and after the Toronto Maple Leafs officially announced the firing of Mike Babcock on Wednesday, there’s plenty of room for conjecture.

While this hockey enthusiast doesn’t necessarily believe Devils head coach John Hynes is the problem in New Jersey, don’t be surprised if Babcock ends up getting hired by the three-time Stanley Cup champion franchise.

Think about it this way: when NHL free-agency hits on July 1 – teams aim to sign the best player possible for a respective position. The same perception can be said about NHL head coaching jobs.

If a team is arguably in need of a change and a coach of Babcock’s caliber is available on the market – you go for it.

Babcock has three Stanley Cup final appearances, winning one, and has the commendable experience that would fit this New Jersey squad now and for the future. His perspective is invaluable and for the Devils can it get any worse; why not take advantage of a situation that’s presented itself just in time for the Holidays?

The Manitouwadge, Ontario has coached notable skaters such as Paul Kariya, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Dominik Hasek, Steve Yzerman – the list goes on of Hockey Hall of Famers Babcock has coached.

For skaters such as Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier (let’s even throw in P.K. Subban for the sake of it), Babcock’s experience and coaching style could benefit those players – especially the young guns.

Times are shaky in New Jersey and an opportunity for Mike Babcock to recover from his disappointment in Toronto would be an ideal situation for a Devils team that’s also in need of some validation and refueling.

Follow Kyle on TWITTER

Kyle McKenna is a freelancer who covers the NHL for Elite Sports New York, Hooked On Hockey Magazine & Fansided. Follow him on Twitter @KMcKenna_tLT5 and use the hashtag #McKennasDigest to have your NHL questions featured in an article or answered over his weekly NHL podcast.