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Mike Babcock Steps Down as Blue Jackets Coach Following Inquiry into Players’ Photographs

by Lucas Garcia
7 comments
Mike Babcock Resignation

Mike Babcock tendered his resignation as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets this Sunday, having been in the role for a mere two months. His resignation comes on the heels of allegations earlier this week suggesting he had requested players to share photographs from their personal phones.

The Columbus Blue Jackets organization confirmed Babcock’s abrupt exit subsequent to an internal investigation conducted by the NHL Players’ Association regarding his behavior. Pascal Vincent has been appointed as Babcock’s successor and has agreed to a two-year contract lasting until the end of the 2024-25 season.

Paul Bissonnette, a former NHL player, disclosed on his podcast this past Tuesday that Babcock had been asking players to display their private photos and was even showcasing them publicly, thereby breaching their privacy. While both Babcock and team captain Boone Jenner refuted these allegations, stating that it was a measure for the new coach to familiarize himself with the team, the players union initiated a comprehensive review and briefed the league on its discoveries by Friday.

Jarmo Kekalainen, the general manager, released a statement saying, “The decision to part ways was complicated for all parties involved, but was deemed essential to maintain our concentration on the players and the forthcoming season. We extend our gratitude to Mike Babcock for his dedication and professionalism in jointly formulating a departure strategy.”

Scrutiny of Babcock’s actions has been particularly intense owing to his controversial and old-fashioned coaching approaches, many of which came under the spotlight following his termination by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019. This stint with the Blue Jackets was his first in the NHL since that termination.

In a statement, Babcock commented, “After careful consideration, it became evident that my continuation as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets would be an undue distraction. Though regretful that I will not see through the initiatives we started, it is in the best interests of the organization for me to step aside. I wish the entire organization success in the upcoming season.”

Upon joining the Blue Jackets in July, Babcock asserted that his coaching style had evolved and he had gained insights on better player management since his dismissal from the Maple Leafs. After that dismissal, allegations emerged that Babcock had once asked a player to rank his teammates based on their work ethic and subsequently disclosed those rankings to the team. His leadership has been a subject of public debate and dissatisfaction among former players, casting doubts on his once-stellar reputation as one of hockey’s finest coaches.

Questions are now arising regarding the future of Kekalainen, who has appointed three coaches since assuming his role in February 2013. Under his tenure, the Blue Jackets have failed to make the playoffs for three consecutive seasons.

Pascal Vincent, aged 51, had previously been a strong candidate for the head coaching position before Babcock’s appointment. He served as an assistant under the team’s former coach, Brad Larsen, for two years and had a four-year tenure as the head coach of the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose.


AP NHL: Link to Original Source

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mike Babcock Resignation

What led to Mike Babcock’s resignation as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets?

Mike Babcock resigned from his position as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets after serving only two months. His resignation came in the wake of an investigation conducted by the NHL Players’ Association concerning allegations that Babcock asked players to show him personal photographs on their phones.

Who has been named as Mike Babcock’s replacement?

Pascal Vincent has been named as Mike Babcock’s successor. Vincent has signed a two-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets that will last through the 2024-25 NHL season.

What was the nature of the allegations against Mike Babcock?

Former NHL player Paul Bissonnette reported on his podcast that Babcock had requested players to show him private photos from their phones and displayed them publicly, thereby breaching their privacy.

What was the organization’s response to the allegations?

The Columbus Blue Jackets organization confirmed Mike Babcock’s exit subsequent to an internal investigation led by the NHL Players’ Association. The general manager, Jarmo Kekalainen, stated that the decision was complicated but necessary to maintain focus on the players and the upcoming season.

How has this incident impacted the organization’s view on general manager Jarmo Kekalainen?

While the text does not explicitly discuss the impact on Jarmo Kekalainen’s position, it does raise questions about his future with the Columbus Blue Jackets, given that Babcock was the third coach he has hired since 2013 and the team has not made the playoffs in the past three seasons.

What was Mike Babcock’s statement on his resignation?

Mike Babcock stated that after careful consideration, it became evident that his continuation as the head coach would serve as an undue distraction for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Though regretful, he felt it was in the best interest of the organization for him to step aside.

What is known about Pascal Vincent, the new head coach?

Pascal Vincent is 51 years old and was one of the candidates for the head coaching position before Babcock’s appointment. He served as an assistant under the team’s former coach, Brad Larsen, for two years and was the head coach of the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose for four years.

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7 comments

BlueJacketLover September 18, 2023 - 6:27 am

Honestly, what was Kekalainen thinkin? 3rd coach in how many years? Maybe it’s time for some new management, jus sayin.

Reply
TheRealDeal September 18, 2023 - 9:55 am

guys, let’s not forget that an investigation happened. Innocent until proven guilty, but if it’s true, Babcock’s career might be toast.

Reply
OffsideExpert September 18, 2023 - 11:02 am

NHL Players’ Association ain’t messin’ around. good to see them take allegations seriously. Makes me proud to be a fan.

Reply
PuckMaster September 18, 2023 - 8:42 pm

Two months and an investigation later, we’re back to square one. What’s next for the Jackets? Hope Vincent can pull a rabbit out of his hat or something.

Reply
IceQueen September 18, 2023 - 11:17 pm

So Babcock claims he’s “evolved” and yet here we are. You can’t just say you’ve changed; actions speak louder than words, man.

Reply
JohnDoe42 September 18, 2023 - 11:52 pm

Wow, Babcock really stepped in it this time. Only 2 months and he’s out? Makes you wonder what the Jackets were thinkin’ hiring him in the first place.

Reply
HockeyFanatic91 September 19, 2023 - 12:27 am

Pascal Vincent, eh? Not a bad choice but can he turn things around for the team? We’ve been strugglin for years now.

Reply

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