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A new development in the Mike Babcock photo controversy has the veteran coach in some trouble

Published September 15, 2023 at 8:50
BY DEAN CHAUDHRY

It is quickly becoming a he-said-she-said situation with the recent controversy surrounding Mike Babcock. After Paul Bissonnette called out the newly-hired head coach for his antics that he allegedly asked to see photos from his player's phones and then AirPlayed them in his office, a lot of people have come forward in defense of Babcock. Of course, that includes the Columbus Blue Jackets captain, Boone Jenner, who issued a statement alongside Babcock, as well as the team's superstar winger, Johnny Gaudreau.

Due to his controversial nature, a lot of people have come out of the woodworks - or for some, they have resurfaced after Babcock's hiatus - to either support or discredit Babcock and this story has snowballed into something much larger with the regular season less than a month away. Once such player is former Toronto Maple Leaf forward, Nazem Kadri, who played under Babcock between 2015-16 and 2018-19. He chose to stand with his former coach, saying that this was something he took part in and that it felt like an innocent gesture:

Asked Nazem Kadri about the Babcock situation. Kadri said when he was with the #Leafs he'd "showed [Babcock] a few pictures, but I think it was pretty innocent." - ESPN's Kristen Shilton

Bissonnette has his sources and supporters, Babcock has his own, and it seems like the war will rage on until the truth comes out with the NHL and NHLPA investigating the matter.


This story has taken a bit of a turn, however, as some of the younger players in Columbus had felt uncomfortable with Babcock during their meetings. We know that the veteran players found their experiences to be pretty innocent in nature, but we also know that Babcock has a history of treating veterans one way and young players another way entirely. Apparently, once Jenner and Gaudreau found out about some of the things that had occurred between Babcock and the younger players on the team, their opinions on the subject may have changed and so the investigation by the NHLPA continues.

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Jenner, Gaudreau, and Kadri had no issues with his "strange" demand but let's see what comes from the investigation. If the younger players viewed Babcock's request as intrusive and inappropriate, it would be up to Babcock to understand that a line had been crossed and to apologize. It's the whole impact versus intent scenario. Even if Babcock's intentions were good, he can't control how his requests are being received by the players. If it makes them uncomfortable, it's on him to remedy the situation.

POLL
September 15   |   139 answers
A new development in the Mike Babcock photo controversy has the veteran coach in some trouble

If Babcock crossed the line with his younger players in Columbus, should he be allowed to continue on as head coach of the Blue Jackets if he apologizes?

Yes, I'm sure it was a misunderstanding2014.4 %
No way, fire his ass8359.7 %
Depends on the results of the investigation3625.9 %
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