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Mike Babcock to Return To NHL as Blue Jackets Next Head Coach

As per a report by Darren Dreger, the next head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets is set to be Mike Babcock.

According to two reports on Saturday morning, the Columbus Blue Jackets are getting set to announce their next head coach, but there’s a delay. That delay is that the person they intend to hire has contractual obligations holding up an announcement and that both parties are waiting until the end of this month to make things official.

As per a report by Darren Dreger, the next head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets is set to be Mike Babcock.

An initial report by Aaron Portzline of The Athletic noted on Saturday that Columbus was taking longer than they wanted or anticipated to hire a coach, but the delay this week is not due simply to their own deliberations. He writes, “Something or someone is holding up the process. Will be fascinating to see this unfold, hopefully soon.” That was almost immediately followed by a report by Dreger that the hold-up is Babcock.

Dreger noted, “Speculation around the Memorial Cup is Mike Babcock will return to the NHL as @BlueJacketsNHL new coach and the delay in announcing coincides with his existing contract with the Maple Leafs expiring at the end of this month.” Many will recall that Babcock was the coach of the Maple Leafs and was given a long-term, highly-lucrative contract that had plenty of time remaining on it when he was relieved of his duties. He’s been coaching outside of the NHL, but an official return would have to wait until that contract ran out, unless he was willing to give up the guaranteed money that came with it.

Fan reaction to Dreger’s tweet has been interesting, with one person writing, “There is no way they went from Tortorella to Babcock with only a two-year break between them.” Others are wondering how he’ll get along with the team’s stars, Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine, who some believe will almost immediately clash with him if he’s anything like he was in Toronto.

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