Multiple insiders confirm the return of Mike Babcock.
John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports  

Multiple insiders confirm the return of Mike Babcock.

The controversial NHL head coach will make his return behind the bench next season.

Jonathan Larivee

It would appear as though a controversial head coach will soon be making his return to the National Hockey League.

News began to swirl around the topic of a possible NHL return for former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock on Saturday morning when Columbus Blue Jackets insider Aaron Portzline revealed that something was holding up the Blue Jackets' announcement of a new head coach.

That news was quickly followed up by a report from NHL insider Darren Dreger who revealed that there was word going around that it was Babcock's contract with the Maple Leafs that was causing the delay.

Dreger's colleague at TSN, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun, has also chimed to all but confirm this rumor by adding that Babcock has been the choice in Columbus for some time now.

There seems no doubt that Babcock will in fact be the next head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, a move that will very likely be viewed as a controversial one given the stories that hounded Babcock prior to his unceremonial exit as the head coach of the Maple Leafs. Stories about Babcock's treatment of players like Mitch Marner in Toronto and Johan Franzen in Detroit caused an outpouring of criticism from NHL fans and Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen will likely face backlash of his own should this decision work out poorly for his team or his players.