Mike Babock has been all over the news in recently days. After accepting a job as coach with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, he’s been doing some media and the responses to recent comments he’s made have been heavily criticized by analysts who wonder if he’s still able to grab hold of reality.
One of the more odd things he said during a recent interview was that, “I knew when Lou left, I was getting fired.” Babcock spoke with Christine Simpson in an interview which will air during Wednesday Night Hockey on Sportsnet. He seemed to hint that his termination as head coach was always coming and had little to do with the lack of success the team was having at the time of his release.
“… The bottom line is, I really believe it’s important that every general manager and every coach have their manager and their coach, their guy. And that wasn’t me.”
He hinted at being responsible for some of the team’s current success and added that he’s a bit jealous because and to see what these players have become. He noted, “Matthews has become a man, Marner has become a man.” Considering the way he was criticized for treating Marner, it’s a pretty troubling thing to say.
What is so specifically odd about the statements made by the former coach during this interview is that Babcock was fired by the Maple Leafs only after GM Kyle Dubas kept him on for a year and a half after Lamoriello left. There were good reasons to fire him on Day 1 but that didn’t happen.
Instead, despite making questionable decisions for 18 months after Lamoriello joined the New York Islanders, Dubas publicly offered his vote of confidence and support for Babcock. Many will argue the team really should have let Babcock go immediately following the 2019 playoffs.
It wasn’t until Babcock scratched Jason Spezza and isolated him from the team in many respects and the club really struggled that Sheldon Keefe was named as head coach.
Babcock isn’t wrong that Keefe was a Dubas guy. That said, to insinuate the new GM didn’t ever see him as the team’s long-term coach is out there.
Babcock Is Getting Raked Over the Coals
Not only are fans being critical of the former Leafs coach for taking a University hockey job (probably not a fair thing to do), analysts like Jeff O’Neil from TSN are really pouring it on when it comes to Babcock seemingly not taking responsibility for where he’s at in this stage of his coaching career.
“This guy is used to walking around and everyone kissing his ass because he’s Mike Babcock and because he’s the coach of Team Canada, and he’s smarter than everyone else. What’s going on now is he’s having a difficult time with people not seeing his greatness, people calling him out for being a jerk, and a bad coach, and a bad guy. And he can’t deal with people not kissing his ass and the respect he used to get, and the way he treated everyone prior is just not going to happen any more because no one is going to let it.”
Something tells us when this Babcock videos airs on Sportsnet before the Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames game tonight, there are going to be a lot more fans critical of the former coach.
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