I will be perfectly honest here. I thought that given the amount of controversy that followed the departure of former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock from that team that it would be some time before we saw him behind the bench of a National Hockey League franchise once again. His exit was an ugly one with a lot of question surrounding his treatment of players, even high profile players like Leafs forward Mitch Marner, but despite that it may have been naive to believe that in the world of sports where winning must be achieved at all costs that teams would not come calling for Babcock sooner rather than later.
Although the former Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, and Anaheim Ducks head coach has not yet returned behind the bench just yet it now sounds like he is being considered for at least one high profile assignment at the NHL level. Over the weekend Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman provided an update regarding the current coaching search going on in the Washington Capitals organization, and it was during those comments that Friedman revealed Babcock was a legitimate candidate to take over behind the bench there.
"Last week reports got out that the Washington Capitals had permission to interview Peter Laviolette for their vacant head coaching job. This week it is believed that they interviewed Toronto's former head coach Mike Babcock, and he is a legitimate candidate for the position," said the NHL insider.
Now to be clear this does not mean that Babcock will be the next head coach of the Washington Capitals, but the fact he was interviewed by the team would certainly indicate to me that he is at least being viewed as a serious candidate for the role as Friedman suggests that he is. There will be some stiff competition for the role however with the aforementioned Laviolette also in the running and former Las Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant is also suspected to be among the candidates for that job as well.
The Capitals have indicated, after parting ways with former head coach Todd Reirden, that they will look for a more experienced coach this time around, one who can hold players accountable. Mike Babcock is definitely a coach that I believe fits that description.