Mike Babcock included in list of candidates for latest NHL coaching vacancy

The New York Rangers continued to clean house this afternoon, firing head coach David Quinn after three seasons on the job. Of course, this comes after their dramatic front-office reshuffling after the decision by controversial team owner James Dolan to dismiss GM Jeff Gorton and popular team president John Davidson.

The iconic Original 6 club will need a new bench boss. Could one notable former Red Wings coach be in the discussion? According to one notable columnist, potentially.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that among the candidates to replace Quinn on the Rangers bench includes Mike Babcock, who has already coached two Original 6 clubs in Detroit and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He writes:

“It is expected that Drury will replace Quinn with an experienced NHL head coach who will face a mandate to take the Blueshirts to the next level, and sooner rather than later.

Gerard Gallant, Rick Tocchet, Bob Hartley, John Tortorella, Mike Babcock and Patrick Roy are among the early candidates to follow Quinn, who came to New York three years ago after a successful stint behind the bench at Boston University.”

One of the most successful head coaches of the modern NHL era, Babcock guided the upstart Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to within one game of the 2003 Stanley Cup championship. Following his hiring by the Red Wings in 2005, he proceeded to win a total of 458 games in the Motor City that included four straight 50-win seasons, the 2008 Stanley Cup falling one win short of a repeat in 2009.

He chose to move on from Detroit in 2015 after 10 years, accepting a contract from the Toronto Maple Leafs that made him the highest-paid bench boss in the sport.

However, after his dismissal by Toronto in November of 2019, his career came under scrutiny after 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”.

– – Quotes via Larry Brooks of the NY Post Link – –