We’ve been hearing the promises for a while now.

Change is coming to Leafland. Renovation is pending. And yet, Randy Carlyle is still dangling.

So what’s the holdup? Before newly inserted president Brendan Shanahan hauls out his franchise-fixing tool chest he’s been making like a human suggestion box. Word is Shanahan has been holding a series of meetings with players and coaches and management, learning from the past to better plot the future.

Here’s a brainwave that should be pursued in the present. The Maple Leafs ought to make a run at Mike Babcock as their next head coach.

Babcock, of course, needs zero introduction. He’s the singular bench boss who’s won a Stanley Cup, two Olympic gold medals, a world championship and a world junior. He’s the perfect candidate to replace the ill-fitting Carlyle. And yes, in a not-so-minor complication, he’s also under contract to the Detroit Red Wings through next season.

That detail, if you know anything about Leafs CEO Tim Leiweke, won’t be a deterrent to a potential Toronto recruiting drive. And luckily for the Leafs, there appears to be enough disharmony in Motown to suggest Babcock would be more than keen to listen to out-of-the-box pitches.

In a curious development in Detroit, Babcock has said it’s doubtful he will talk with the Red Wings about a contract extension this summer. There have been suggestions that he’s waiting to see what the Red Wings will do to upgrade their roster; that he’s of the mind Detroit’s Stanley Cup window may have already closed in the waning days of the Datsyuk-Zetterberg era; that the man who’s won pretty much everything at age 51 might be intrigued by the idea of new challenges. He might enjoy working in a place where playoff games aren’t taken as a ho-hum given.

We all saw Babcock lapping up the spotlight in Sochi earlier this year: he relished his time at the centre of the hubbub created by Canada’s national team. His stellar work at the Olympics, on the bench and on the podium, is only proof he’d be the perfect daily spokesman for the country’s most fussed-over NHL team.