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Mike Babcock’s Way Of Coaching

from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,

Babcock long has taken a bashing on Twitter from former NHL player Mike Commodore, who has major issues with the way the coach treated him in Detroit.

A series of measured tweets on Saturday by former NHL defenceman Mark Fraser defended Commodore, with Fraser saying that based on his conversations and stories related to him “95%” of Babcock’s players “can’t say a good thing about” him. Fraser also tweeted that Babcock “used his power to turn teammates against each other.”

One tale was related to us in the past few days that is said to have occurred in the 2016-17 season, during the annual fathers trip.

Babcock was alleged to have asked one of the Leafs’ rookies to list the players on the team from hardest-working to those who, in the eyes of the rookie, didn’t have a strong work ethic. The rookie did so, not wanting to upset his coach, but was taken aback when Babcock told the players who had been listed at the bottom.

When Babcock scratched veteran Jason Spezza for the regular-season opener, a decision that was unnecessary and disrespectful, we received an e-mail from a long-time NHL observer wondering why Babcock would deliberately embarrass Spezza.

more on the Leafs...

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

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Babcock long has taken a bashing on Twitter from former NHL player Mike Commodore, who has major issues with the way the coach treated him in Detroit.

You can complain about lots of things regarding Babcock, but his treatment of a mediocre depth defenseman isn’t one of them.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 11/25/19 at 10:19 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Fixed this…

Babcock long has taken a bashing on Twitter from Mike Commodore, a guy better known for having an Orange fro and fan nickname of Commodore 64 than actually playing NHL hockey, who has major issues with the way the coach treated him in Detroit.

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 11/25/19 at 10:50 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Commodore was garbage and quite frankly probably deserved whatever treatment he got because he didn’t even belong in the NHL at that point.

That said, it doesn’t make what he says about Babcock any less true.  This is all stuff we’ve been hearing for some time though.  Folks in Toronto prooooooobably shouldn’t have kept their hands clasped to their ears though crying “LALALALALALA!” when it was first coming out of Detroit *BEFORE* they hired him to coach the Leafs.

Posted by Primis on 11/25/19 at 11:07 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

“Babcock was alleged to have asked one of the Leafs’ rookies to list the players on the team from hardest-working to those who, in the eyes of the rookie, didn’t have a strong work ethic. The rookie did so, not wanting to upset his coach, but was taken aback when Babcock told the players who had been listed at the bottom.”

Never been a Babcock fan even though he helped bring us a Cup. I wonder what effect head on young players?

 

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 11/25/19 at 11:12 AM ET

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It makes you appreciate Z even more, having to try and absorb and manage that
at the same time he was having to manage back pain every day.

Commodore had a rep with the Jackets as a 30 year old
who still wanted to hang out on campus and act and drink
like a college kid.

It’s weird Commodore would even agree to a one year deal
in Detroit, given he’d already dealt with Babcock when he was breaking
into the league and knew he didn’t like him or trust him and knew he wasn’t
ever going to be a Babcock type. You’ve just been bought out by a bad team.
Take whatever the actual best opportunity and fit is. Who cares if it’s 750,000
instead of one million.

It’s easy to see how the huge ego and abrasive, grinding relentlessness, the extreme stubbornness, and seeming attachment to favorites and scapegoats would make it very hard for most to play for Babcock. You can respect his success and not care for the personality or approach.

But Toronto - collectively celebrating a few wins and acting as if they’ve somehow flushed this toxin from the system - is not very impressive either. A bunch of guys who have won nothing, who wanted to be paid like superstar Cup winners, visibly quit. Quit trying because the coach wasn’t young or cool or flexible enough to player to their egos and let them loose to play the way they prefer. Maybe they will really catch fire and play to their strengths. But that’s Dubas’s big bet: that his style of players and his data metrics will win out. To be determined. They have a lot to prove.
But I don’t think the players come out of this looking better than Babcock. Selfish, greedy, entitled and immature and willing to quit and lose badly to get their way.

Posted by lefty.30 on 11/25/19 at 12:45 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Fraser saying that based on his conversations and stories related to him “95%” of Babcock’s players “can’t say a good thing about” him.

That’s a heck of an impressive survey….....95% eh?  :/

One of the reasons I never gave a shat about Commodore’s complaints is because of who it was coming from.  I also personally don’t think the coaches job is to be friendly or a buddy with the players…but that’s my opinion.  

Players complain about how their coach is a harda$$.  Employees complain about how their supervisor is too rigid.  Kids complain about how their parents are too hard on them.  Such is the circle of life.  

Oh, last thing.  Anyone know how many games Mark Fraser played for Babcock?  0.  I wonder if he’s even been in the same locker room with him.  

Posted by TreKronor on 11/25/19 at 12:49 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 11/25/19 at 10:12 AM ET

There’s just no excuse for that if that’s true, can’t do that to any player, let alone a young kid.

It makes you appreciate Z even more, having to try and absorb and manage that at the same time he was having to manage back pain every day.
Posted by lefty.30 on 11/25/19 at 11:45 AM ET

Just my guess, I would think the situations were a bit different, the Wings had/have a long established work ethic, something the Leaf organization didn’t.  While the Marnier story is over the top, I would also ask how many of the great coaches in sport were the warm and fuzzy milk and cookies by the fire type guys.  I know on first hand knowledge that Brendan Shanahan would’ve pushed Bowman in front of a bus if given the chance, he hated the guy.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 11/25/19 at 12:56 PM ET

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Guess the parade plans are back on in Toronto.

I’m sure Babcock can be a pain in the ass to a hockey player but responsibility for their sluggish play to start the season is far from Babcock’s problem alone. Dubas has created an imbalanced roster and is going to have trouble cobbling together a defense/goaltending capable of winning a Stanley Cup. Just imagine how quick the team sinks if their starting goaltender is out for an extended period. They have almost no defense under contract beyond next summer and won’t have much cash to create one.

So keep planning that parade until a few more losses send them screaming for the next scapegoat.

Posted by evileye on 11/25/19 at 01:13 PM ET

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Posted by lefty.30 on 11/25/19 at 11:45 AM ET

I agree 100%. Babs is a stubborn and abrasive ego maniac….That being said, it is not a valid reason to simply stop working…He might not have been the right coach for this young team, but I feel there is a lot of guys on this team that lack work ethic… I would just love to send these kids in military boot camp…:)

Posted by Detroit13 on 11/25/19 at 01:18 PM ET

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From a different era in our sport.

Steve Shutt’s famous quote about Bowman probably says all that needs to be said.

“You hated him for 364 days a year. And on the 365th day, you collected your Stanley Cup rings.”

Posted by Cubanpuckstoppr on 11/25/19 at 02:14 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

He might not have been the right coach for this young team, but I feel there is a lot of guys on this team that lack work ethic

Kind of brings up an interesting point.  I wonder if a lack of work ethic could be correlated with how contracts are being given out.  It used to be that players didn’t get their big pay check until they were 27 or 28.  Now teams are locking in 23 year old with 7 or 8 year deals worth $8+ a year.

Posted by TreKronor on 11/25/19 at 02:15 PM ET

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A bunch of guys who have won nothing, who wanted to be paid like superstar Cup winners, visibly quit.

Who quit on him? Was it Matthews, with his 14 points in Babcock’s last ten games and was already on pace for a career year? Was it Tavares and Nylander who each put up 9 points in their last ten games under Babcock? Or was it Marner with 9 points in the last ten games he played before he got injured?

Are those the guys who wanted to be paid like superstars but visibly quit?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 11/25/19 at 02:53 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Kristen Shilton tweets,

Mitch Marner on Mike Babcock sharing his list of hardest/least hardest working #Leafs when he was a rookie:

“It was just surprising. I was lucky enough that the guys that were there with me, none of them took it to heart and they knew it wasn’t up to me.”

Marner on #Leafs teammates not holding list against him: “It was huge for a first year guy. I didn’t really know what to think. But I was lucky enough to have that first-year group with me and our team was very tight and very well-knit together. That was a lucky situation.”

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/25/19 at 03:06 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

Mitch Marner on Mike Babcock sharing his list of hardest/least hardest working #Leafs when he was a rookie:

What a great team-building exercise, Mike!

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 11/25/19 at 03:19 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Elliotte Friedman tweet,

I reached out to Mike Babcock today about the Mitch Marner story, as reported by @koshtorontosun. Via text, he replied, “I was trying to focus on work ethic with Mitch — focusing on role models — ended up not being a good idea. I apologized at (the) time.”

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/25/19 at 03:30 PM ET

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Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 11/25/19 at 01:53 PM ET

It’s not always the points that count, but how they are obtain in my opinion. If you play like crap for 2 1/2 periods but score a big goal with less than 5 minutes, does that mean you have work ethic? If you do that every game, does that mean you work hard? I would say no. Elites can often put points on the board regardless, but it’s the way you play for 3 periods, for me, that counts. It’s the overall effort and dedication. When I look at McDavid, I see how hard he plays for all 3 periods. I just personally do not see it from players like Matthews. But that’s just my 2 cents! smile

Posted by Detroit13 on 11/25/19 at 03:57 PM ET

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Babcock is feeling kinda toxic today.
Just stay away from Detroit.

Posted by pnwwing on 11/25/19 at 08:10 PM ET

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