Former Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock could very well soon have himself a new NHL address.
According to a report from SportsNet, he’s interviewed with the Washington Capitals for their head coaching position. Washington dismissed coach Todd Reirden earlier this week following a second straight earlier than anticipated playoff exit.
Babcock originally got his start in the NHL with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the 2002-03 season, where he lead the upstart team to a startling berth in the Stanley Cup Finals in just his first season behind an NHL bench.
Two years later, he was hired by the Red Wings, eventually leading them to the 2008 Stanley Cup victory and within a game of a repeat the following season, and has been one of the most successful professional hockey coaches in recent history – both in the NHL and internationally with Team Canada, winning two Gold Medals in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
However, his career came under scrutiny following his dismissal by the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this season. Multiple reports from former (and current) players painted Babcock in a less-than-flattering light regarding his treatment of them and coaching style.
One particular scathing testimonial came from former Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, who called Babcock the “worst person I’ve ever met”.
However, Capitals management may be willing to overlook Babcock’s reputation of being tough on players if they believe he can help them once again achieve the championship glory they experienced in 2018 with fellow veteran coach Barry Trotz behind the bench.
He’s currently employed as a volunteer advisor with the University of Vermont hockey program.