Mike Babcock: What happened?

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Before Mike Babcock was let go by the Toronto Maple Leafs, everyone knew it was because the former coach had lost the locker room. We all knew that the players quit on the coach. However, not many people, if any, knew exactly why, until now. With the aftermath of the firing, reports are getting released left and right of incidents between him and his players.

Mitch Marner’s “List”

Recently, it was released to the public that an incident back in the 2016-2017 season occurred involving Mike Babcock, and a rookie who has since been identified as Mitch Marner. For those who do not know about this incident, I will explain what happened. In Marner’s rookie season, Coach Babcock decided he wanted to work on Marner’s work ethic and his professionalism.

Babcock’s idea was to test him with something that he has reportedly done with multiple players throughout his coaching career. What he made Marner do was list all of his teammates’ work ethics from a scale of 1-20, with 20 being “lazy” and 1 being a player with good work ethic. Babcock then took Marner’s list and showed the players who ranked low on the list in order to shake up Marner’s reputation in the locker room. Marner’s teammates came to his defense, telling him that this was not the first time Babcock had done this. This part is important. If it had just happened once, it’s still a bad incident. However, it’s not as bad as it is a recurring matter with the old-fashioned head coach. It was also reported that Babcock had done the same thing in his tenure with the Detroit Red Wings.

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Photo Credit : Dinur Blum (@rabbi_d) via Flickr

My Analysis

What happened was not okay. Firstly, it was not okay to trick one of your young stars, who was in his first year in the NHL to do something that normally would not be asked of a player. Then, showing the list he was forced to make to the players at the bottom. That is not okay either, it is a breach of privacy. It only gets worse from here. This isn’t the first time it’s been done. The players involved all told Marner this was not the first time that the coach had done this. The names of other players who faced such actions have not been released, and probably should not be released. What’s even worse, is that Babcock has done this on multiple teams, as it’s been reported that he’s done the same thing with the Detroit Red Wings.

This story has blown up, and it’s blown up quick. However it’s important that this type of situation gets addressed, as everyone now knows what happened, it will possibly stop it from happening again. Mike Babcock honestly believed what he did was okay, until he saw how much it upset Marner. Babcock did all this because of his old school mentality. However, things that were acceptable over 10 years ago are not acceptable now. Mike Babcock has not grown with society to learn that some things just aren’t okay. Hopefully, those who have an old school mentality will learn that with this incident, some things must stay in the past.


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