The 2019-20 NHL season might a long one due to the pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the playoff tournament kicking off next month, however, it does not seem like too long ago that the Toronto Maple Leafs fired head coach Mike Babcock and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe.
Unless it is so far in time for you, remember how there were abuse allegations were made against the bench boss during his time in Detroit. There was also the whole incident with his player Mitch Marner in Toronto: it was revealed that Babcock forced a 19-year-old Marner to make a list of all the players on the team, singling out the players who he viewed had the worst work ethic. Since the incident was made public, many have denounced Babcock, condemning the former head coach for putting Marner through such an ordeal and even accused Babs of trying to put his players against one another.
Some players have since come out to share their good - but mostly - bad experiences with Babs and on Wednesday, it was Tomas Kopecky’s turn, he would played under Babcock for the Red Wings from 2005 to 2009.
During a segment from the Slovak podcast by Marian Gaborik and Boris Valabik called Boris&Brambor, Kopecky made this comment on Babcock and his personality.
However, he stunned a lot of people by refusing to bash Babcock as a coach, explaining how the man is driven by winning and success.
“He wasn’t a good person but was a great coach and a professional. He’d do everything to be successful, be it harsh critique or praise.”
It is not the first time a former player who learned under Babcock has talked about his lack of human qualities, but claimed that he is a good hockey coach.
This could be what allows Babcock to return to the NHL one day. A few hockey clubs have been looking for new bench bosses, but Babs’ name was never out there.
Maybe he is still waiting for dust to settle or maybe he will become the first head coach of the 32nd team in Seattle once the expansion comes to fruition next summer…