When Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock wants something, he does not seem to give up easily on what he is looking for. During the latest February trade deadline, Babcock had attempted to convince former Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello to acquire a veteran forward, able to lead the way on the fourth line. And he wanted a very specific player: Detroit Red Wings' Luke Glendening.
Instead, Lamoriello had made a move with the Leafs' rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, acquiring veteran forward Tomas Plekanec, who managed to make a good impression on the club and was quite helpful in the end on the fourth line during the first round of the playoffs against the Boston Bruins. However, it was almost certain that the Czech player would not return to Toronto, and as expected, the 35-year-old has re-signed with the Canadiens and will return with the team that selected him in the third round back in the 2001 NHL Entry draft.
Babcock finally has another chance to try and convince the Leafs to land Glendening, and according to Red Wings team insider Ansar Khan of MLive, the Maple Leafs head coach might be looking to increase his efforts to get his former player this time around with new general manager Kyle Dubas in charge.
"Babcock tried to acquire Glendening leading up to the 2018 trade deadline, but the Maple Leafs former general manager, Lou Lamoriello, wasn't as interested, and the Red Wings weren't inclined to part with him for a low draft pick," writes Khan in his latest column on MLive.com.
Last season, Glendening managed to put up 11 goals and 19 points in 69 games. He has 32 goals and 79 points in 362 career NHL games, all with Detroit. The 29-year-old centre still has three years left on his current contract, with an annual $1.8 million cap hit.
There was a major roadblock last season for Babcock and his desire to acquire Glendening as not only his own GM wasn't thrilled about the potential trade, but Red Wings general manager Ken Holland was looking for way more than a low pick in return. Glendening appears to be quite liked in Detroit and it might be hard for Dubas to make this move happen.
"What I always talk about with young people, with anybody, is inner drive and perseverance, those to me are the two biggest factors in individual success, whether it's sports or business or life or anything. I don't know if anybody exemplifies that more than (Glendening). He's got the inner drive to wake up every day and do everything absolutely possible to be great, not just when a coach is watching but no matter who's watching." - coach Jeff Blashill.
So, will Babcock's final plea and Dubas' trade strategy make this deal work in the end?