NHL News : Rumor: Mike Babcock set to make his return as head coach.

Rumor: Mike Babcock set to make his return as head coach.

Details inside.

Published on by HockeyFeed in NHL News
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It sounds like Mike Babcock is finally ready to make his return behind the bench.

Although there has been no official announcement, National Hockey League insider Darren Dreger reported on Saturday that former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach will be taking on the role of head coach for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. The official announcement, according to Dreger's sources, is expected to come sometime next week.

This represents the first head coaching job that Babcock will take on since being unceremoniously fired by the Maple Leafs back in November of 2019 off the back of a 6 game losing streak from the Leafs. Although Babcock has not officially worked as a head coach since being fired by the Leafs, he has remained active in the coaching world, briefly working as a volunteer advisor for the University of Vermont men's hockey team. 

This is of course a huge get for the University of Saskatchewan, especially when you consider that Babcock himself is a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Babcock is one of the most decorated coaches in Canadian history having achieved success as a head coach in the National Hockey League as well as internationally while representing his country. 

In 2008 Babcock captured the NHL's top prize when he won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Detroit Red Wings franchise and he would follow that up just two years later with a Gold Medal victory at the 2010 Winter Olympics, something that I suspect he considers to be the crowning achievement of his professional career. Even when it comes to the International Ice Hockey Federation Babcock has seen success with a Gold Medal in 1997 while coaching for Canada at the World Junior Championship and another Gold Medal in 2004 while coaching Canada's men's hockey team at the World Championship.

The Olympic Gold Medal, the World Championship Gold Medal, and the Stanley Cup victory have made Babcock the first and only member of the "Triple Gold Club," arguably making him one of the most decorated head coaches in hockey history.

Babcock of course has dealt with his fair share of controversy throughout his career as well. His departure from the Toronto Maple Leafs led to very serious allegations about his treatment of players, most notably his treatment of former Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, and I suspect that this has played a large role in Babcock remaining out of the spotlight until now. 

Given the seriousness of the accusations made by Franzen and other players, I suspect there will be a segment of the hockey community that will have some questions about whether or not Babcock should be coaching young and impressionable men.

That being said, a coaching gig in his home province is unlikely to raise too many eyebrows and will likely see him avoiding some of the tougher questions he might have faced had he chosen to return behind an NHL bench.

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Photo Credit: Eric Canha/CSM/Zuma