Blue Jackets defenseman reveals how the team feels about ex-Leafs coach Mike Babcock coming in

Mike Armenti
July 26, 2023  (9:55)

We all know how Mike Babcock's tenure began with the Leafs. There was a lot of excitement in the air and even when Babcock had publicly stated that "there will be pain", we took it as a sign that things were about to turn around for the organization after some very dark days.

Well, just as we all know how his tenure began, we also know how Babcock's tenure ended in Toronto, with a lot of dirty laundry being aired about how Babcock behaved while coaching the team, including having a rookie Mitch Marner compile a list of Leafs players, ordered from hardest working to least hardest working and then sharing it with the team, completely throwing Marner under the bus and destroying his confidence.
Babcock was hired by the Columbus Blue Jackets this summer and, much like his tenure started with the Leafs, Babs actually has the Jackets fired up for the upcoming season. Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski revealed as much during an interview this week.
"You want your head coach to fire you up and get your group going in the right direction. I think he's done that already just from a month being here, so everyone's really excited to get camp going and get a fresh start to the season." - Werenski on the arrival of Babcock in Columbus and the excitement from the team

Werenski told NHL.com during an interview on Tuesday that he has really enjoyed getting to know Babcock as a person.
"It was really good. We had a good conversation. I went to his house in Michigan and met with him not too far from me, actually. We talked about myself and what he expects out of me, the team.

I got to know him a little bit, and you know, I left impressed. That kind of fired me up. I think from that point on I just want to get to training camp to get the season going." - Werenski on how his first meeting with Babcock went this summer

Of course, the elephant in the room is how Babcock's reputation might have some feeling apprehensive about the hire and not knowing what to expect from the veteran coach. Werenski addressed that during his interview as well.
"I think that's out the window. I don't think guys have any second guesses on it. I think guys are really excited, actually, it seems from talking with the guys that have met with him already. Everyone kind of came away fired up and ready to go so that's important, right?" - Werenski about Babcock's previous reputation around the league

Only time will tell how this situation develops, but people can change and perhaps Babcock is focused on putting the past behind him and starting fresh. I'll believe it when I see it, but it's certainly possible.
26 JUILLET   |   296 ANSWERS
Blue Jackets defenseman reveals how the team feels about ex-Leafs coach Mike Babcock coming in

Will the Columbus Blue Jackets make the playoffs under Mike Babcock?

Yes9030.4 %
No20669.6 %
Latest 10 stories