Mike Babcock will probably end up in the Hall of fame at some point in the future. His track record is solid and nobody doubts his skills as a coach.
However, voices are heard across the league about the quality of his players management. Former member of his teams sometimes argue that Babcock is not the best at managing players' emotions and ambitions.
One of them is none others than Chris Chelios. During an interview with a radio station, Chelios had this to say.
“No veteran free agent is going to want to come in and play for Mike Babcock. I wanted to because I wanted to stay in Detroit, but no matter what I did — I tried so hard to win his heart over and I just couldn’t.”
He adds that the Red Wings move to their new arena and the fact that Babcock is no longer coach in Detroit will actually help the team recruit the best players.
“I think it’s going to help a lot and I think it’s going to help even more that Babs is gone because those free agents really didn’t want to play for Babs. It’s nothing personal, but he’s a tough guy to play for, especially for a veteran. If you’re a young guy I think it’s great because of his accountability and if you don’t play [hard] you’re not gonna play.”
Whew! These are tough words for a player who won the cup back in 2008 under that very same coach! Chelios is not into soft words and sugarcoating though, so it's not that much of a surprise.