Brendan Shanahan second-guessing Mike Babcock? Impromptu practice causes controversy

There might be some tension between Mike Babcock and Brendan Shanahan ahead of the season.
Dan Hamilton/Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Is there already a rift between Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan and coach Mike Babcock? Both men are known for their hands-on approach with everything regarding their team, but it was still a surprise Monday when Shanahan decided to take the ice (still in a full suit) following practice to work with a small group of players. 

As far as anyone outside of the organization knows, Shanahan has never before taken the ice to directly instruct players at any point in his 18-month tenure as Leafs president, but as a three-time Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist, Shanahan is plenty qualified to do so. 

Goaltender James Reimer, journeyman Brad Boyes and rookie defenseman Scott Harrington were among the select few to benefit from the on-ice session with Shanahan. 

“[Shanahan] was watching from somewhere and I guess something caught his eye,” Boyes told the Toronto Star. “We talked about a lot of things, being in the corners, shooting, angles, the power play. It was all interesting.”

But while the players said they enjoyed the session with Shanahan, reporters said Babcock did not seem happy about it after the practice. 

The Maple Leafs' front office is loaded with men who like to be involved, and there has been some question as to how two such people in Babcock and Shanahan will get along. Monday's impromptu practice session could be an aberration, or it could be the beginning of some tiffs between the two men. 

(h/t Toronto Star)

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