Ex-NHL forward Brad May has surprising take on Mike Babcock

How many people will take May's words to heart?



One of the most successful head coaches of the modern NHL era, Babcock guided the upstart Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to within one game of the 2003 Stanley Cup championship. Following his hiring by the Red Wings in 2005, he proceeded to win a total of 458 games in the Motor City that included four straight 50-win seasons, the 2008 Stanley Cup falling one win short of a repeat in 2009. 

He then pivoted in his career by joining the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015 with what was at the time the richest coaching deal in NHL history.

However, after his dismissal by Toronto in November of 2019, his career came under scrutiny after multiple reports from former (and current) players painted Babcock in a less-than-flattering light regarding his treatment of them and coaching style. One particular scathing testimonial came from former Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, who said that Babcock was "the worst person I've ever met". Additionally, a rather surprising report came from Mitch Marner, who stated that Babcock intentionally humiliated the then-rookie in front of the entire dressing room. 

Babcock has since resurfaced in the NHL as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and just about everyone is watching with eyes peeled as to how he'll handle himself differently this time around.

And according to former NHL forward Brad May, whom Babcock coached during his one season with Detroit in 2009-10, 

"Babs is a hell of a coach, he's very prepared, maybe a little bit of an inability to connect to some of his players, and I'm sure over the last few years, there's a come to Jesus moment, where, hey I gotta treat people differently, the old school's out," he said during an appearance on The Raw Knuckles podcast. "If you do the steps necessary and you have the ability, are we all not looking for a second chance?"

As far as the belief that anyone may carry that Babcock doesn't deserve another chance in the NHL, May had this to say:

"If my answer was no, Mike Babcock shouldn't be a coach in the NHL ever again, that's the most ignorant thing to say, in my opinion."

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