Mike Babcock resigned as coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday after just two months on the job, following reports earlier this week about him. asking the players to show you photos on your phones.
The team announced Babcock’s departure following an investigation by the nhl Players Association about their conduct. Pascal Vincent was named Babcock’s replacement and signed a two-year contract through the 2024-25 season.
Former NHL player Paul Bissonnette reported on his podcast Tuesday that Babcock was asking players to show him photos and project them for others to see, in an invasion of privacy. Bissonnette said he was told Babcock told team captain Boone Jenner: “Let me see the pictures on your phone. “I want to know the kind of person you are.”
Babcock and Jenner denied the report, saying it was just a way for the new coach to get to know the players.
Still, the players union launched a review and updated the league on Friday about its findings.
“This was a difficult decision on everyone’s part, but one we considered necessary to ensure our focus remains on the players and the team’s upcoming season,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire Blue Jackets organization, we want to thank Mike for his hard work and the professionalism he has shown in working together on a plan to resign.”
Babcock’s conduct came under the microscope given his history of polarizing and old-school coaching techniques, many of which came to light after Toronto fired him in 2019. This was his first NHL job since then.
“After reflection, it has become clear that continuing as coach of the team Columbus Blue Jackets “It was going to be a big distraction,” Babcock said. “While I am disappointed that I have not had the opportunity to continue the work we have started, I know that it is best for the organization for me to step away at this time. I wish everyone in the organization the best in the upcoming season.”
Babcock, the 2008 Stanley Cup-winning coach with Detroit, said upon taking over in Columbus in July that evolved as a coach and I learned how to treat players better after being fired by Toronto.
After Babcock was fired by the Maple Leafs, a report surfaced that he asked a player to share his rating of how hard his teammates worked and then shared it with the rest of the group. Other former players expressed discontent with Babcock, who at one time was considered the best coach in hockey.
Instead, Babcock’s time in the NHL may be over, and with it comes questions about Kekalainen’s future in Columbus.
Babcock was the third coach Kekalainen hired since taking over in February 2013. The Blue Jackets have missed the playoffs in each of the last three seasons.
Vincent, 51, was one of the candidates for the job when Babcock got it. He was an assistant on former coach Brad Larsen’s staff the previous two seasons after four years as coach of the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose.