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According to recent reports, the Columbus Blue Jackets are close to securing their next head coach, who is set to be the seasoned coach, Mike Babcock. The news was initially shared by Aaron Portzline from The Athletic.
The appointment will be made official once Babcock’s current contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs concludes on June 30. Babcock has been out of the NHL coaching arena since his dismissal from the Maple Leafs after just 23 games into the 2019-20 season.
Babcock, now 60, launched his head coaching career with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 2002-03 season. Remarkably, he led the team to the Stanley Cup Final in his very first year. Babcock then moved to the Detroit Red Wings as their head coach in 2005 after spending two seasons with Anaheim.
With a decade-long tenure at the Red Wings, Babcock steered the team to two Stanley Cup Finals, including a championship win in 2008. He left Detroit after the 2014-15 season, amassing an impressive record of 458-223-105 with the esteemed franchise.
In the lead-up to the 2015-16 season, Babcock was appointed head coach of the Maple Leafs. From 2017 to 2019, he guided Toronto to the playoffs for three consecutive years, but the team was unable to progress to the second round under his leadership.
Babcock’s termination from the Maple Leafs on November 20, 2019, was followed by multiple allegations of player mistreatment. Among his critics were former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore and former Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, the latter accusing Babcock of verbal abuse. Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios corroborated Franzen’s narrative of the incidents.
While coaching in Toronto, Babcock purportedly asked star player Mitch Marner to rank his teammates based on their work ethic during Marner’s rookie year.
Babcock is poised to succeed former Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen, whose record stood at 62-85-16 over two seasons. His mission will be to rejuvenate a franchise with a history of only 15 playoff game victories.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mike Babcock appointment
Who are the Columbus Blue Jackets expected to hire as their new head coach?
The Columbus Blue Jackets are reportedly set to hire veteran coach Mike Babcock as their new head coach.
When will Mike Babcock’s contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs expire?
Mike Babcock’s contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs is set to expire on June 30.
Has Mike Babcock been coaching in the NHL recently?
Mike Babcock hasn’t been actively coaching in the NHL since his dismissal from the Toronto Maple Leafs 23 games into the 2019-20 season.
How long was Mike Babcock the head coach for the Detroit Red Wings?
Mike Babcock was the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings for a decade, from 2005 to 2015.
What were the accusations against Mike Babcock after his termination from the Maple Leafs?
After his termination from the Maple Leafs, Mike Babcock faced allegations of player mistreatment. Johan Franzen, a former Red Wings forward, accused Babcock of verbal abuse.
Who will Mike Babcock be replacing as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets?
Mike Babcock is set to replace former Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen.
What will be Mike Babcock’s main challenge with the Columbus Blue Jackets?
Mike Babcock’s main challenge with the Columbus Blue Jackets will be to rejuvenate the franchise, which has only won 15 playoff games in its entire history.