Mike Babcock breaks his silence, speaks about his time in Toronto and the fallout after his departure

Mike Armenti
August 3, 2023  (12:08)

For Mike Babcock, signing in Toronto was not only a huge step in an already impressive career, but also a huge risk in coming to a hockey hotbed with passionate fans and a sometimes volatile hockey market. Win and you're a god. Lose and you become a target. However, I don't think anyone could have predicted the trainwreck that was Babcock's end in Toronto.

Babcock has been remarkably quiet about his departure from Toronto over the past few years. Now, back in the league as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Babcock had a chance to sit down with Sportsnet 590's The FAN this morning to discuss his time in Toronto and how he feels about the negative press since he had left.
"When I went there and signed 8-year deal, I thought I'd probably get 5 years in - I got 4 and a half years in. All the time I was in Toronto, I enjoyed it. Do I like the way I was talked about when I left? No. Do I think I did anything wrong? Absolutely. In our business, what are you gonna do? When you leave, you're gone and someone else comes in and replaces you and you wish them luck." - Babcock on his time with the Leafs and how he feels on the other side of it

Obviously, being Leaf fans, we all know the some of what had occurred between Babcock and the team. We know about the infamous list he had asked a rookie Mitch Marner to prepare, only to throw him under the bus in front of his whole team. We know the stories from other NHLers, current and former, who disliked playing for Babs.
I'll be honest - I'm a little surprised with how accepting he seems to be over the whole thing and his outlook on it all after the fact. Babcock was basically vilified in Toronto and has had his name dragged through the mud for the better part of the last 3 and a half years. This response was not at all what I had expected. Maybe it's just trying to spin it to the media to try to repair his image, but maybe - just maybe - he's changed after all.
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Mike Babcock breaks his silence, speaks about his time in Toronto and the fallout after his departure

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