Rumor: Mike Babcock mentioned as candidate for potential coaching change.
John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports  

Rumor: Mike Babcock mentioned as candidate for potential coaching change.

Is it time for Babcock to return?

Jonathan Larivee

Although they've recently turned things around with back to back wins, there's simply no denying the fact that the St. Louis Blues have had a terrible start to the season. Including their two recent wins the Blues have managed to rack up just 5 wins over 13 games this season, with all 8 of their losses coming in a row and within regulation on top of that. That simply isn't good enough when you're a team that had high expectations and Stanley Cup aspirations coming into the 2022-23 National Hockey League season.

As you might expect this has resulted in mounting pressure on a number of players and team personnel, and there has even been talk of Stanley Cup winning head coach Craig Berube being on the hot seat this season. The fact that Berube won a Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019 and the fact that he has never failed to miss the playoffs will likely earn him considerable leeway, but another big losing streak or the continued struggles of star players like forward Ryan O'Reilly could change things very quickly.

The question then of course would be who would replace Berube as head coach mid season? In a recent article for the Toronto Sun, controversial columnist Steve Simmons mentioned former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock as a potential candidate for the role, citing his ties within the St. Louis Blues organization.

From Simmons:

If St. Louis makes a coaching change, would Mike Babcock get any consideration to coach the Blues? Babcock has worked with GM Doug Armstrong in the past...

Babcock hasn't taken on a major coaching gig since he was fired by the Maple Leafs back in November of 2019. It is unclear whether that was due to lack of coaching offers or if no other organization was willing to take on the lucrative contract he signed with the Leafs. In spite of not coaching the Leafs over the last few years, Babcock has continued to be among the highest paid coaches in the league with a yearly salary of $6.25 million through the 2022-23 NHL season.

The fact that he is in the final year of his deal with the Leafs could make taking on his contract a more appealing prospect for NHL teams, especially ones in desperate need of a mid-season coaching change.

That being said Babcock has also recently hinted at the end of his coaching career, so there are legitimate questions to be asked about whether or not he would even be interested in coming back to coach the Blues.