Why Mike Babcock is out as Blue Jackets coach, what’s next

Greg Wyshynski, ESPNSep 17, 2023, 07:04 PM ET

CloseGreg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.

Mike Babcock resigned as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets days before the start of NHL training camp and just over two months after he joined the franchise. How and why did this happen? What does it mean for the future?

Here’s a look at those questions and more after checking in with a range of NHL sources:

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How did Mike Babcock end up in Columbus?

Babcock was officially announced as the new head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 1, 2023, after his contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs was up. He signed a two-year deal worth $4 million per season.

The 60-year-old coach was fired by the Leafs in November 2019 after five seasons. It was his third NHL coaching gig after stints with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (2002-04) and Detroit Red Wings (2006-15), with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2008. Babcock was also behind the bench for two Olympic gold-medal wins for Team Canada (2010, 2014) and Canada’s win in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

After his dismissal in Toronto, Babcock’s reputation took a severe hit.

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As coach of the Leafs, Babcock requested a private meeting with rookie Mitch Marner, had the young forward rank his teammates by work ethic and then shared the list with the players who were at the bottom of that ranking, much to the embarrassment of Marner. The incident was reported to then-general manager Lou Lamoriello.

Other accusations about Babcock’s tactics were made by former players. Former Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, in the Swedish media outlet Expressen, accused Babcock of “verbal attacks” that, at one point, caused Franzen to break down on the bench and dread coming to the arena.

After Babcock was fired, Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said his coaching tactics were not “appropriate or…

Source link : https://www.espn.com/nhl/insider/story/_/id/38426039/mike-babcock-resigned-blue-jackets-coach-next-moves

Author : Greg Wyshynski

Publish date : 2023-09-18 01:12:37

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