The decision made public on Sunday shocked the NHL and its fans; Mike Babcock is resigning as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets just two months after being appointed.
Mike Babcock is a controversial figure in hockey after accusations against him were made public after he was fired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019. Several former players called out Babcock, calling him a bully who verbally attacks his own players and someone who uses old-school methods to humiliate his players publicly.
The Columbus Blue Jackets still decided to appoint him new head coach earlier this summer, and they received some heavy critique for it. Nobody can argue that Babcock doesn’t know hockey.
He won the Stanley Cup in 2008 and was behind the bench for two Olympic gold medals for Team Canada, but his reputation took a massive hit in 2019, and the world was surprised to see an NHL team take a chance on him again.
But it didn’t turn out great. Last week, during the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast, co-host Paul Bissonnette revealed that Babcock had asked to look through players’ phones and then AirPlayed their pictures on the coaching screen.
Other players later confirmed that it had happened, and the Blue Jackets even released a statement claiming it happened, but for a good reason, and to make the group stronger.
But on Sunday, the final decision from the Blue Jackets came that Babcock resign from his coaching position. ESPN has reported that Bissonnette’s claims were just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s still not sure what the NHLPA concluded with their investigation.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have been criticized for their decision to even bring in Babcock from the beginning, but now, they’re also called out for letting him go.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshinski said on X/Twitter that several of his NHL sources all said the same thing about Babock and how the Blue Jackets have handled the whole situation.
”You knew who you were hiring. If you can’t stand up for him during something like this, why hire him in the first place?”