Mike Babcock Bringing Different Coaching Approach Which Will Shock Maple Leaf Fans

Tom Banks
September 9, 2023  (7:42 PM)

Over five years ago, Mike Babcock was fired by the Maple Leafs after uproar from fans and analysts about his coaching style and lack of success in Toronto, and he once again drew their ire when his return to the NHL in Columbus was revealed.

Turning a new leaf?


That criticism has clearly hit Babcock hard, as we've heard much talk about his changes this summer, and now, he has gone into even more detail about his new mindset and approach.
In his latest interview with NHL.com, Babcock has revealed some of the measures he's set up to make sure that those things he was once criticized and demonized for will not happen again.
We're also going to have a communication contract, because I learned that I was brutal at it, and I thought I was good at it.

Better communication

The mentioned contract focuses on Babcock wanting to improve his communication with players, as he points out that some players need to be yelled at while others prefer a softer hand, and this new system will allow them to communicate their personal preferences much better.
'Babs,' when you get [ticked] off on the bench at me, it does me no good. If you want to talk to me, just lean over in my ear,» but another player might say, «I actually need a tightening every once in a while, Babs. Make sure you got me.»

I want them to tell me how they want to be talked to, how they want to meet. Some guys don't ever want to come into your office. Are you getting them a coffee? Are you getting them under the stands on the way out? I used to skate around with guys before (practice), but now if you skate around with a guy, there's an article (written about it), so you can't do that.

I want to treat you with the utmost respect. My intention is going to be kind. But I want you to maximize what the good Lord gave you. I want you to push. I promise you this year in Columbus we're going to work, I promise you, so you have to buy into that.

This is certainly something no one in Toronto would have expected from the veteran coach after he ended his stint five years ago, but this is a fantastic sign of improvement, especially from a coach that many believed was set in his ways.
Mike Babcock Bringing Different Coaching Approach Which Will Shock Maple Leaf Fans

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