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All Mike Babcock

from Jonathan Gatehouse of MACLEAN'S,

Q: You’ve talked about the need to make Toronto a “safe place” for players. What do you mean, and how do you do that?

A: I felt, last year, from the outside looking in, that the players took a lot of hits—deservedly so, in some ways. But to me, you have to look after those guys. You have to build a product that’s good enough that they can win enough, that they feel good about themselves. I don’t care what you do in your life; if you have no confidence, it’s hard to feel good about who you are. That could be in the workplace, or the home. Any time there’s no trust, it makes it hard. We’re going to make it safer that way. We’re going to look after them the best we can. And we’re going to build a structure here so that they can be safe on the ice, and play well on the ice.

Q: At the same time, you’ve stressed a need for more accountability—to teammates, management, the fans and media. How do those two concepts go together?

A: I call it “sharing the love.” You know when your wife’s having a good go at you? I always say to the guys, “Hey, she’s just sharing the love. If she didn’t love you, she wouldn’t talk to you like that.” To me, it’s kitchen-table accountability. When you sit around your kitchen table with people you love, if you say something stupid, they call you on it right away—because they’re honest with you and they’re making you better. That’s what we’re going to have here. We’re going to have an honest respect for one another, to make everyone maximize the potential they have. I expect the players to listen to me, and I’m going to listen to them. We’ve got to make each other better here, and it’s another way to create safety, because the players know you’ve got their backs. When you tell a player what you want, he will try to please you.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

Comments

Primis's avatar

I felt, last year, from the outside looking in, that the players took a lot of hits—deservedly so, in some ways. But to me, you have to look after those guys.

So when he “protects” players by cutting off access to TOR reporters, who then just flambe he and the team daily anyways… I wonder how that will work out?

We make fun of DET writers for pretty much being in the org’s pockets, but…. TOR is a fine example of the alternative, where the writers have no accountability at all.

Posted by Primis on 10/04/15 at 11:43 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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