I must admit, in spite of the way that things ended with the Toronto Maple Leafs, I am a little bit surprised that we have not heard the name Mike Babcock mentioned a few more times than we have over the last several months.
As all of you know Babcock was unceremoniously fired by the Maple Leafs mid-season during the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season, and the Toronto media was not very kind to him on his way out. Articles critical of Babcock's coaching style as well as articles critical of his treatment of the players on the Leafs' roster were commonplace and it would be an understatement to say that Babcock's reputation as a head coach took a serious hit following his exit from Toronto.
Despite his championship pedigree as a coach Babcock has thus far not been linked to any other coaching jobs in the NHL, at least not seriously, this in spite of the fact that there have been some vacancies on that front. There are some who suspect that the Seattle Kraken may take a gander at Babcock but a brand new expansion team doesn't seem like the kind of fit he would be looking for, although admittedly that is pure speculation on my part.
Now however for the first time we are hearing some new rumblings of a potential coaching gig for Babcock, one that ironically enough could have him coaching some of those very same Leaf players in the near future. In a recent column for the Toronto Sun, controversial Toronto journalist Steve Simmons revealed that there are some influential people that have been linking Babcock to Team Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Will Babcock coach in the NHL again? Almost certainly. Will it be soon? Not necessarily. There are those, though, in high places who think Babcock should coach Canada’s Olympic team in 2022 in China.
Fans may balk at the notion of Babcock coaching the Canadian Olympic team after his time in Toronto, but it is far from being as crazy as you may think. Babcock captured a gold medal on home soil at the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010 and then did so again 4 years later, capturing gold in Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. He also captured a gold medal for Canada during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, so in terms of international competition you won't find a better resume than Babcock's.
Add to that the fact that Simmons suspects that the management team for Canada Hockey will include names like Ken Holland, and I can certainly envision a world in which this happens.
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