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Abel to Yzerman

Mike Commodore Not A Babcock Fan

Mike Commodore did an interview with KHL.hr and PuckDaddy tranlated it...

"They offered me a one-year deal worth one million. My gut was screaming: “Don't take it, you've got one chance, if it doesn't go well, you're done in the NHL!”

“I told my agent: ‘I don't want to play in Detroit for Mike Babcock, I don't trust him. Call him back and tell him thank you, we'll get back to you.’

"My agent then told me the GM put a 15-minute time limit on the offer. I needed to make up my mind in 15 minutes or he was gonna pull the offer off the table. This was July 1st, free agency had just started 10 minutes prior. I called the GM and told him: ‘Ken, Mike Commodore here, I like you, you're a good guy. Is it you who wants me or the coach?’ Ken Holland said that he wanted me and so did Babcock. So I told him that I would love to play for Ken, and I would love to play for the red wings, but that I didn't trust the coach from previous experience. So I called the coach, by now I had 10 minutes left.

"I called him: ‘Babs, Mike Commodore here. Please be honest with me, do you want me on your hockey team or not?’ He said he did. I wanted to know if I’d get an opportunity. I told him I am not looking for anything special, but that I needed to know if I was gonna get a fair shot and a chance to play. He said ‘I want you on my team. You will get a fair chance. We need someone physical on the back end with a right shot. I want you. You will play.’

“I hung up the phone, five minutes left. My gut screamed ‘Say No!’ This coach screwed me over nine years ago. He buried me in the paper after I had a good camp in Anaheim. He buried me so I would look bad so he could then play his boy from juniors who was an undrafted rookie at camp that year ... Kurt Sauer.


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This is not surprising in the least bit, and shouldn’t be surprising to any Wings fan. We all know Babcock plays favorites. That’s EXACTLY why Dan Cleary is on the team and 4 other players’ careers were affected (Nyquist, Emmerton, Eaves, Tootoo). I don’t think Babcock has the best reputation amongst the players because he can be insanely stubborn.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 12/06/13 at 01:30 PM ET

awould's avatar

Babcock does like his favorites, hence the term. But these comments by Commodore come off as the sourest of grapes. Especially the jab at Columbus’ coach screwing him because he’s jealous. If the coach is jealous of rich young athletes who score with the ladies, how’d he find 5 guys to put on the ice at all?

Not saying Commodore got a great opportunity at Detroit - Babcock does seem to have a problem with him - but with few exceptions, sports is a pretty legit meritocracy - if he had the chops to play in the NHL, he would be. So either he’s not worth the money he wants or he’s a problem guy that Coaches and GMs around the league don’t want in their locker room. These comments aren’t gonna help his cause if that’s the case.

Posted by awould on 12/06/13 at 01:37 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

if he had the chops to play in the NHL, he would be


Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 12/06/13 at 01:38 PM ET


On the other hand, who do you have to blame but yourself when you gut is “screaming” for you to say no but you say yes anyway?

And why -if you told your agent you didn’t want to sign there- would you ever change your mind after being told about the time limit?

“I don’t want to sign there, tell them no.”
“They want to know in fifteen minutes.”
“OK then, I’ll sign.”

This stinks of BS to me.

And Jesus, what a cry baby re: Columbus.  Yeah, I’m sure he was waived because he was a single guy and the coach was married with kids.  Why didn’t he waive every single player who was making good money, or was Commie the only one?  I would think it would’ve been newsworthy if the entirety of the Columbus roster was married with kids except for Mike Commodore.

Mike Commodore is a joke.

Posted by Garth on 12/06/13 at 01:42 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

The coach was jealous because he played a lot of years, he had a wife and kids and he felt he didn’t earn a lot of money so he booted me off the team. The next year he started doing the same to Derick Brassard but he got fired before he could finish it.”

From this Commie sounds very very immature. It also sounds like he’s trying to cover up his playing inadequacies with excuses about other people disliking him or being jealous.

if he had the chops to play in the NHL, he would be

Exactly. Look at Seguin. He’s not the best guy when it comes to maturity or keeping on the straight and narrow, but he can play and that’s why he’s starting every night.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 12/06/13 at 01:43 PM ET


Exactly. Look at Seguin. He’s not the best guy when it comes to maturity or keeping on the straight and narrow, but he can play and that’s why he’s starting every night.

I’m sure he tells Lindy Ruff all of his swinging dick stories so that Lindy can live vicariously through Seguin.  That’s the secret to playing in the NHL as a young, single player making a lot of money.

Posted by Garth on 12/06/13 at 01:45 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The timing of this article coming out on the KHL website speaking badly of Team Canada’s head coach in the run up to Sochi is more my focus.

We all know Commodore doesn’t like Babcock.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/13 at 01:55 PM ET


Ah anti-Babcock chum.

Come, fishies… and dine.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/06/13 at 01:57 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

This is so stupid. It’s not even news. I’m with JJ, this OLD story was dug back up as a little (weak) gamesmanship from the KHL media.

Every coach has players they favor and players they don’t get along with. It’s called “being a human.” The bottom line is that Commodore was never anything more than an average stay-at-home D in his prime, and when he came to the Wings it was a shot in the dark on a guy that was clearly past that unspectacular prime.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 12/06/13 at 02:01 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Babcock plays favorites and is stubborn?!?!?!

The HELL you say????

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 12/06/13 at 02:02 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

so, in summary….

and when he came to the Wings it was a shot in the dark on a guy that was clearly past that unspectacular prime.


Well said Nathan!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, Czech out my recliner..... on 12/06/13 at 02:14 PM ET


Who’s Mike Commodore?

Posted by godblender on 12/06/13 at 02:48 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

I signed the [expletive] contract faster than when I was a ‘hot commodity’ four years earlier.

“So, I took the million dollars and ran,” said the soul-less ginger.

You did it to yourself, Commie.

I am critical of Babcock too, but, this just reeks.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 12/06/13 at 02:58 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Yeah there’s a reason Babs is coaching the Olympic squad and Commy can’t crack even the worst NHL team. Keep blaming others Commy.

I think I know why he’s single too

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 12/06/13 at 03:06 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Who’s Mike Commodore?

Posted by godblender on 12/06/13 at 01:48 PM ET

This was perfect.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 12/06/13 at 03:10 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Lost a lot of respect for the guy just now.  Never had a problem with him, but this is just obnoxious. 

Also, this is a MUCH different story from the one he told once he was initially signed.  He originally said he was in his pickup driving in Canada when he received the offer from his agent.  He said he hung up the phone, thought about it for a minute, then said something like “how could I pass this up?”. 

Posted by TreKronor on 12/06/13 at 03:50 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/13 at 12:55 PM ET

Right on

Posted by gowings from MTL on 12/06/13 at 05:17 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

The biggest takeaway from this story that I can see is that players with actual skill need to be more outspoken and less cliche-driven when they do answer questions.  Hockey needs more Hulls.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 12/06/13 at 09:27 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com