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Former Babcock Player Among NHPLA Execs Investigating Coach

The NHLPA is in Columbus investigation the allegations made against Mike Babcock. A former player for Babcock is part of that group.

According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman: “NHLPA Executive Director Marty Walsh and Assistant Executive Director Ron Hainsey are in Columbus today to meet with some Blue Jackets as part of the investigation into Mike Babcock and viewing of players’ phones/photos.”

The NHL and the Blue Jackets have already done their investigation, but now the players association is looking into the alleged impropriety of Babcock asking to see the phones of players so he could get to know them, what they’d been up to over the summer, and their families. There has been major discourse and debate over the past 24 hours about the way in which Babcock asked to see these photos, with a few Blue Jackets players and others who played under him with different teams saying they had no issues with the request. However, Paul Bissonnette (who broke the story in Spittin’ Chiclets, along with other players has reportedly said the exercise of looking through phones and displaying the images on a television for others to see was highly uncomfortable for many and that was a huge misuse of power by Babcock, who has a history of abusing his authority.

Related: Does Babcock Stand a Chance As Coach of The Blue Jackets?

That Ron Hainsey is part of the group sent to look into this is intriguing, if only because he knows from experience what playing for Babcock is like. Some wonder if this would create a conflict of interest, or if this is ideal because having someone involved in past issues is could mean the debate is quickly dropped if it is found there was no wrongdoing.

Can Mike Babcock outlast his detractors as coach of the Blue Jackets?
Can Mike Babcock outlast his detractors as coach of the Blue Jackets?

Both Friedman and co-host Jeff Marek suggested in a recent podcast that this issue is probably not over. Both figured the Babcock problems were likely not going away anytime soon and both wondered how loud this was all going to get before a decision was ultimately made to keep him in Columbus or move on. He’s a polarizing person, to say the least, and these incidents have only shined a brighter spotlight on the way he deals with and talks to players.

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