Washington Capitals: Staying far away from Mike Babcock

Mike Babcock (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Mike Babcock (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals should not hire Mike Babcock to be the next coach.

The Washington Capitals have interviewed Mike Babcock as one of their candidates to be head coach. Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman called him “a legitimate candidate for the position.” He does have a legitimate resume, I’ll give him that, but that doesn’t mean he should be coaching the Capitals.

Recently Babcock coached the Toronto Maple Leafs. He led a young Maple Leafs team to the playoffs but didn’t go far and was fired back in November. After his firing reports came out about his questionable leadership and it is bad.

One example was when he made a then rookie Mitch Marner rank his teammates from the hardest working to the least, having to share that list inside the locker room. There were other stories of player abuse and questionable leadership.

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Former Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen said, “He’s a terrible person, the worst I have ever met. He’s a bully who was attacking people… He would lay into people without any reason.”

There was reports about the Caps turning their bubble experience into a vacation, that they had no interest being there. The first thing that comes to mind is yeah they need a strict coach in there cracking the whip. However, there’s a fine line between being strict and a bully.

My worst nightmare as a Capitals fan is seeing Alex Ovechkin play on another team. Imagine if Babcock came in there, laid out the law on the players, pissed off Ovechkin, made Ovechkin pissed off at management to the point where he doesn’t sign an extension and finishes his career elsewhere? Babcock would be a horrible hire on the backend of the great eight’s career.

Although Babcock has won one Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008 and led them to the Finals the next year, he hasn’t been out of the second round since. He hasn’t gotten out of the first round of the playoffs since 2013.

But the Caps shouldn’t just stay away from him because he’s a bad coach. As my point earlier was said about being a bully, he’s an even worse person. One incident that stands at the top that has Red Wings fans still mad with him is when he kept Mike Modano at 1,499 career games by making him a healthy scratch. Imagine if Ovechkin or Backstrom got that same treatment.

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The Caps will look to hire their next bench boss soon. Babcock shouldn’t be the one to coach them.