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UNDRAFTED

Columbus Blue Jackets Reportedly Hire Mike Babcock as Head Coach

During his ten-year tenure with the Red Wings, Babcock achieved success while leading the team to two appearances in the Stanley Cup Final while winning the Cup in 2008.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have reportedly made their coaching decision, as veteran head coach Mike Babcock is expected to join the team, according to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic. 


The official announcement of Babcock's hiring will take place once his contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs expires on June 30. The Blue Jackets will be hoping that Babcock's backlog of coaching experience can help shape the team during this rebuilding phase. 


Babcock began his head coaching career with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim during the 2002-03 season. He guided the team to the Stanley Cup Final in his debut year. After two seasons in Anaheim, Babcock moved on to become the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings in 2005.


During his ten-year tenure with the Red Wings, Babcock achieved success while leading the team to two appearances in the Stanley Cup Final while winning the Cup in 2008. His overall record with the franchise stood at an impressive 458-223-105. 


In 2015, Babcock moved to the Toronto Maple Leafs, taking charge of the team as their head coach. While he led the Maple Leafs to three consecutive playoff appearances from 2017 to 2019, the team failed to advance beyond the first round under his guidance.


Babcock's tenure in Toronto was marred by allegations of player mistreatment and controversy. Following his departure from the Leafs in November 2019, accusations arose regarding his coaching style and treatment of players. 


Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore publicly criticized Babcock, and former Red Wings forward Johan Franzen accused him of verbal abuse. Franzen's claims were supported by Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios. Furthermore, it was alleged that Babcock had star forward Mitch Marner rank his teammates by their work ethic during his rookie season in Toronto. An odd situation to put one of your young stars in.


It will be interesting to see how players react to the hiring and more importantly, which players will thrive or faulter under his leadership style. We'll also see what other staff changes go on behind the scenes now that the Head Coach has all but been selected.

Travis Jones

Monday, June 5, 2023

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