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Former Leafs bench boss Mike Babcock addresses his future as an NHL coach


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Dean Chaudhry
May 31, 2024  (4:29 PM)
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Mike Babcock intensely surveilling the ice from behind the bench.
Photo credit: Jerome Miron - USA Today Sports

Former Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock has officially addressed his future in the National Hockey League.

After the Bruins had beaten the Leafs in Game 7, Jim Montgomery mentioned that Mike Babcock had given him some words of advice before their final meeting in Round 1.
It was another disastrous post-season appearance for the Toronto Maple Leafs but this time around it seemed like they might have had the Boston Bruins on the ropes - at least compared to previous years.
They dropped another Game 7, this time in overtime, and while the loss itself was disappointing, after the game Jim Montgomery spoke to the media and said that he had received words of advice and encouragement from former Leafs bench boss Mike Babcock and current head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Jon Cooper.
Of course Montgomery never went into full detail as to what was said by either coach but it's interesting to note that a former Leafs head coach and a current division rival would be handing out words of encouragement before a pivotal Game 7 to the Leafs' adversary.
«I had a real good discussion with Mike Babcock before Game 6 about owning the moment and how to push your team through,» the Bruins coach said after his team's Game 7 overtime win.

Babcock has become public enemy number one for a lot of his off-ice antics and rightfully so. He was essentially exiled by the NHL for several years before returning last summer with a new head coaching job in Columbus. It seems like the old adage that "a leopard never changes its spots" came to fruition as Babcock was fired before the regular season even began for more off-ice shenanigans. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped people within the NHL to reach out to him in times of need as Montgomery alluded to:
"Montgomery also said out loud what people around hockey quietly admit: Babcock may be officially out of the game, but many NHL coaches and executives still respect and consult him, and he maintains a hold within the league's establishment."
-An excerpt from a recent piece for the NY Times from Dan Robson and Katie Strang

Babcock was recently asked about his conversation he had with Montgomery while he was travelling with his wife in Ireland last week, and as expected, he kept it short and sweet:
"I just talk to the guys who call me. That's it.» Asked if he wanted to return to coaching, he said «no» and added: «I've got a great life going. I have things I love to do. I'm busy as heck and I'm enjoying it.»

The 61-year-old Saskatoon native will probably remain on the sidelines for the foreseeable future. He declined to comment on whether or not any NHL clubs have recently approached him for a job, however it wouldn't be all too surprising if he were to reclaim a role somewhere down the line. For the time being, he'll continue to act as a consultant whenever approached by a head coach in need like Montgomery did earlier this spring.
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MAY 31   |   383 ANSWERS
Former Leafs bench boss Mike Babcock addresses his future as an NHL coach

Will Mike Babcock ever get another job in the NHL?

Yes, the NHL does a good job at recycling names297.6 %
No, I think Columbus was the last straw29476.8 %
Maybe in a front office role but not as a coach6015.7 %
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