Blue Jackets GM addresses players for the first time following Mike Babcock scandal: Here’s what he said

Mike Babcock has been the talk of the NHL the past week, and on Sunday, it was made official that he’s leaving his role as head coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets after days of controversy.

Everything started with the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast’s co-host Paul Bissonnette accusing Mike Babcock of showing players’ private photos via AirPlay on the coaching screen.

Source: Getty Images

Paul Bissonnette received backlash from the statements, by people claiming he only said it for attention and clicks — but it turned out to be true. The Blue Jackets released a statement confirming the story, but they also claimed they did it to bring the group closer to each other.

The NHLPA decided to start an investigation, and on Sunday, Mike Babcock and the Columbus Blue Jackets announced the head coach’s resignation.

READ MORE: NHL sources absolutely slam the Blue Jackets; they’re all saying the same thing after Babcock’s resignation

Jarmo Kekalainen was the GM who decided to hire Mike Babcock, and he’s now under fire for the decision to bring the controversial coach in — and his decision to let him go. Many believe that he was in the wrong when he decided to give Babcock another chance at an NHL job, but many also say that he should’ve stood up for him more.

Kekalainen even claimed that Babcock asked to look through his photos as well, so the whole thing really couldn’t have come as a big surprise to him.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 18: Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen addresses members of the media during media day at Nationwide Arena on September 18, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Getty Images)

Now, the Columbus Blue Jackets are looking to move on from the short Babcock era. And Kekalainen seems to take full responsibility for the mess he put the organization in. According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, the GM reached out to his players and apologized for what Babcock did and how it all went down.

Kekalainen also told media that he indeed apologized to the team for hiring Babcock after the resignation became public.

READ MORE: Paul Bissonnette hits the final nail in Mike Babcock’s coffin, with a clear warning to every NHL coach