Wanting to “get things right,” Mike Babcock gave his first interview since his dismissal, just days before his appearance as an analyst for NBC. The former coach admitted to making some mistakes and claiming that some facts are wrong.
Babcock was previously at the helm of the Toronto Maple Leaves, from 2015 to 2019, and is noticeably reverting to the criticism formulated by Johan Franzen, who directed him with the Detroit Red Wings, and on this other story about Mitch Marner, with Toronto.
Remember, the daily Toronto Sun reported last November that Babcock asked Marner, during his debut with Maple Leaves in 2016-2017, to separately compile a list of the team’s players ranked according to the quality of their work ethic. It was then that the pilot had posted the list in the locker room.
However, if he admitted that he made this request to Marner, Babcock provided a slightly different version of the story.
“That’s not the way it happened,” Babcock said in an interview with The Athletic published on Tuesday. Mitch was in my office. We were talking about business ethics. I asked him where he is arranged. There was no problem, it was a good meeting. “
“But then I met, I think it was [Tyler] Bozac. What I did and made a huge mistake, I immediately knew it happened … when we talked about competitiveness, I said, ‘Look where Mitch is.’
Babcock then offered an apology to Marner while also giving him the opportunity to clarify the situation with his teammates. An offer turned down by Marner.
Regarding Franzen, who has openly criticized his habits by claiming to be “the worst person in the world”, the former coach said he was upset because he didn’t have the same analysis for this. Which is what Al Suwaidi considered intimidation.
Babcock has been raising awareness about mental health for a very long time, however, he can’t forgive himself for this episode, which came at a time when Franzen had been suffering from concussion and depression symptoms for months.
“It doesn’t matter what I understand,” Babcock said. When you talk about these things, if the person – it doesn’t matter if he’s a classmate, wife, or student – he thinks it’s the environment [malsain]This is how you feel. Now, I’m sure I would have liked to have known then. And I could do something about it. Besides apologizing, there’s not much I can do right now. Does it hurt at all.”
“At the end of the day, you do a lot of things in your 32 years as a coach and want to do them differently. (…) It’s human nature. In the midst of this moment, a lot of things have been said.”
As for the rest, Babcock is not closing the door to a comeback as a head coach in the National Hockey League (NHL), and he’s the one who noticeably got an interview with the Washington Capitals this summer.
The 57-year-old Canadian is 700-418-19-164 in 17 seasons in the NHL, including two with Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Won the Stanley Cup 2008 with Red Wings.
“I don’t know what’s next,” he admitted. But I know there is a short season and everyone has a coach. My chances of training in the National Hockey League this year are very slim. “
Babcock will start working on camera on Sunday.