Mike Babcock reveals true feelings of being fired by Maple Leafs

The former Leafs bench boss is speaking out.



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 earlier today he made an appearance on Sportsnet's 590 THE FAN to talk about his departure from the Leafs, saying that while he didn't like what was said about him after his departure, he did make mistakes. 

"When I went there and signed 8-year deal, I thought I'd probably get 5 years in - I got 4 and a half years in," he said. "All the time I was in Toronto, I enjoyed it. Do I like the way I was talked about when I left? No. Do I think I did anything wrong? Absolutely. In our business, what are you gonna do? When you leave, you're gone and someone else comes in and replaces you and you wish them luck." 

How do you envision Babcock's time in Columbus going?

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