The Canadian coach lost his job in Toronto in November 2019, and soon after several Maple Leafs hockey players came to light about the verbal and emotional abuse the coach used against the players. The Toronto Star reported how the Canadian persuaded team newcomer Mitch Marner, then 19, to put together a list to rate the most experienced roommates based on their work ethic. The list was meant to be private, created only for Babcock’s information, but quickly spread to all applicants. Johan Franzen, who had dealings with him in the Detroit Red Wings, directly called the Canadian in the media a great coach, but a terrible man who built his position by intimidating and humiliating players, including Franzen himself. also been a victim – confirmed Chris Chelios, a former defender and current sports commentator who has witnessed such situations on several occasions.
Now, Babcock says his working style has changed, and his daughter has helped him work on his expression.
– She made me realize that it’s not about what I say, but how. I am a direct, honest, hardworking guy, I did not pay attention to it before. Now I know that what I say and what people around me hear are sometimes two completely different things and suddenly it turns out that I’m talking to a young person, I think we’ve covered the right thing, that we did well, and then I find he thinks I’m after him. I wouldn’t have thought of that in my life. But I spent those three years working on my communication style and I think it will be much better now.
After losing his job in Toronto, the Canadian first volunteered for the University of Vermont team, then for two seasons for the University of Saskatchewan team.
– It was pure fun, and the fact that I’m dealing with young people made me realize that with twenty-three players in the team, I really have to have twenty-three individual approaches, that you have to be able to communicate with everyone. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have thought of that, now I get it.
A recipient of the State Order of Hockey in Canada, the coach has a truly impressive track record. He won the Stanley Cup with Detroit, two Olympic gold medals (Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014) and two senior and one junior world championships with the Canadian team, he belongs to the Triple Gold Club, led the star team of the NHL. In the best league in the world, he spent a total of 17 seasons and won 700 games while working – in addition to Toronto and Detroit – also with the Anaheim Ducks.
– We are sure we have found the best trainer – says Blue Jackets manager Jarmo Kekäläinen. The men have known each other for almost thirty years. – Its achievements speak for themselves, at the same time I would like to emphasize that our organization has its own values and principles which it does not allow anyone to transgress.
The Columbus team, in addition to a new coach, also acquired defensemen Ivan Provorov and Damon Severson, as well as this year’s draft No. 3, Canadian Adam Fantilla, for the new season. The Blue Jackets finished last in the Eastern Conference last season and second-to-last in the league, behind the Anaheim Ducks.
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