Mike Babcock addresses criticisms from Johan Franzen.
Andre J. Jackson/Detroit Free Press  

Mike Babcock addresses criticisms from Johan Franzen.

Babcock was accused of verbally abusing the former Red Wing.

Jonathan Larivee

Following the termination of Mike Babcock as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, we heard a number of stories from a number of the coach's former players that painted him in a rather bad light. No story however was more disturbing than the one told by former Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen.

“As a coach he is extremely accurate and prepared. He is great at putting together a gaming system and getting everyone to buy into it. That’s his strong side,” Franzen told Swedish newspaper Expressen. “But then he’s a terrible man, the worst person I’ve ever met. A bully who cheated on people, it could be cleaners in the Detroit arena or anyone. He jumped on people just because.”

While you could make the argument that Franzen's comments were merely the opinion of one man, Franzen would later be backed up by another famous Red Wing from the past. Chris Chelios, on the record, described a situation where he felt Babcock had verbally abused the Swedish forward to the point of causing him to have a nervous breakdown.

Babcock was recently profiled for a piece on his work as head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and he was asked about the accusations made by Franzen. Babcock reportedly feels bad about how Franzen remembers him after his time with the Red Wings, but his comments appeared to indicate that he was comfortable with what he had done in the past.

“If I’ve done something wrong, I have to own that,” said Babcock as per David Singh. “But I’m good with my life. I’m good with my moral fiber. I’m good with my family.”

Babcock also added that he feels some things have not been portrayed accurately, while also claiming that some of the accusations leveled at him don't pass the smell test.

"It’s real simple for me. Anything in my life that I’ve done that I should be feeling bad about and I should apologize for, I’m good with that," said Babcock. "I have to own it and I should do that. But some of the math doesn’t add up. It just doesn’t."