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Mike Babcock Replaces Mike Milbury as NBC Sports Analyst

Mike Milbury is out, Mike Babcock is in. That’s the news out of NBC Sports on Monday, as Babcock is added to the network analyst team.

Mike Milbury is out, Mike Babcock is in. That’s the news out of NBC Sports on Monday, hidden in amongst all the NHL talk of players hitting the waiver wire and as 31 teams get ready for the 2020-21 NHL season.

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Babcock in studio is going to be interesting, to say the least. He’s, of course, the biggest change as a number of the other commentators and analysts will remain. As per a release by the network today:

“NBC Sports will utilize nearly 15 play-by-play commentators and analysts throughout the 2020-21 season. Kenny Albert, Brendan Burke and John Forslund will headline the group of play-by-play commentators.”

Leading the game analysis will be Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher, Pierre McGuire and AJ Mleczko. Olczyk, Anson Carter and Keith Jones will contribute to both game and studio coverage during the year.

As for saying goodbye to Milbury, NBC Sports said in a statement provided to the Associated Press, “We are grateful to Mike for all of his contributions to our coverage for 14 years, but he will not be returning to our NHL announce team. We wish him well.” This comes after comments last season that were quite controversial. He was suspended from the network after offensive comments he made during the playoffs towards women, injured players and Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who left the playoff bubble to be with his sick daughter.

NHL rumors: Mike Babcock not on hot seat
NHL rumors: Mike Babcock not on hot seat

The Babcock Hiring is Interesting

If NBC wanted to remove Milbury for comments he made that were inappropriate, that the network would turn to Babcock right away is a curious choice. The former Maple Leafs coach was fired by the organization in November of 2019 after the team opened the season with a 9-10-4 record. But, the bigger story was that he was alleged of having mistreated players, specifically Mitch Marner.

In that allegation, there were stories that Babcock would force the team to rank their teammates’ compete-levels, then shared Marner’s thoughts with the team which got him in hot water.

Obviously, the network wants an analyst who isn’t afraid to speak his mind, but it’s intriguing to see where the line in the sand is.

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