The Columbus Blue Jackets are expected to name Mike Babcock as their new head coach once his contract with Toronto expires on June 30, a team source not authorized to speak publicly confirmed. the athlete on saturday. TSN’s Darren Dreger was first to report on the expected hiring. Here’s what you need to know:
- Babcock will replace Brad Larsen, who was fired in April after two losing seasons in Columbus.
- Babcock has not coached in the NHL since 2019, and was let go by the Maple Leafs after a 9-10-4 start to the 2019-20 season.
- The Blue Jackets finished with the second worst record in the league last season at 25-48-9.
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What do we make of the expected rent
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekäinen felt the organization’s “acceptable standards” had eroded sharply during the two seasons Larsen was at the helm, so it’s no surprise that they turned to a veteran coach known for leading with a firm hand. But it would come as a surprise to many to see Babcock make a comeback, especially with such a young roster miles away from being of playoff caliber.
The Blue Jackets would be wise to expect some backlash among fans, given the manner in which Babcock departed in Toronto. Shortly after he was fired in 2019, reports surfaced of emotional and verbal abuse from players he coached in Toronto and Detroit. – Portzline
Babcock, 60, has a regular season record of 700-418-183 with Anaheim, Detroit and Toronto, a 608-point percentage and a 90-74 record in the playoffs. He reached the Stanley Cup Final three times—once with Anaheim and twice with Detroit—and won the 2008 Stanley Cup title with the Red Wings, along with two Olympic gold medals (2010 and 2014 with Canada), an IIHF World Championship (2004 with Canada), a World Championship Junior (1997 with Canada) and the World Cup gold medal (2017 with Canada).
In February 2021, he was named a volunteer head coach at the University of Saskatchewan but resigned from the position last summer.
Columbus missed the playoffs for the third year in a row this season, finishing last in the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets carry the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft this month.
(Photo: Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
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