The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/29/13 at 09:48 PM ET
I don't usually transcribe radio interviews, but TMR readers have an incredibly regular
argument, I mean flame war, I mean debate, as to whether Red Wings GM Ken Holland and Mike Babcock all but come to blows regarding player personnel, and I'm happy to say that Babcock resolved that issue while speaking with The Fan 590's Greg Brady and Jim Lang, he addressed that issue directly:
(oh hey, by the way, I always check the "download" option when I am uploading audio [most SoundCloud users forget it's there], so feel free to download the audio and use it as you wish).
This starts around the 5:35 mark:
Greg Brady: I'm fascinated by the, the entire, not just your team, but the GM-coach dynamic. How do you describe, frankly, your working relationship with Ken Holland? You're both champions of your sport, you wouldn't agree on every player's single...value, or where they should be use...Does it get interesting? Are there excited discussions, do voices get raised...It can kind of fun at the end of it, can't it?
Mike Babcock: Oh, for sure, you know, I was laughing the other day, I hadn't looked at a Hockey News in forever, and I was at my dad's place in Saskatoon, and I flip it open, and it goes to the Red Wings, and it says, "Lots of disagreement over players last year between Ken Holland and Mike Babcock," and my dad looks at me, "Isn't that every year?" and I said, "Every year, every day."
That's the process. Everybody's got your own opinion. And that's what makes you better; if you're the same, why would you hire someone the same as you?
The other thing about it is...Uncomfortable meetings, when you go to a meeting--and this is in any business--and nobody really tells anybody anything, nobody steps on anybody's toes...You leave the meeting, and everyone talks behind somebody's back.
When you go to a meeting, and you deal with the facts, in an uncomfortable situation, when you leave, everything's looked after.
I'd much rather it be that way. Ken and I have a great relationship. If we pretend for one second that we agree all the time, that's just not the case, but I can tell you this: we make each other a lot better.
Brady: Is that harder for a younger GM, veteran...We have that here with Dave Nonis and Randy Carlyle; I'm just curious. If you have a vet GM and a young coach, the young coach trying to prove something; it's got to be a lot easier to do when both guys have been there, done that, doesn't it?
Babcock: That may be, but I would say to you, confident...You don't get to where these guys are without being confident people. Confident people have opinions, and they're willing to share them.
That doesn't mean when Kenny Holland has a better idea than I do...
We go with Kenny Holland, it makes no difference. And that could be travel, scheduling, on players, and lots of times he's got thoughts on players I never thought of, and vice versa.
I don't think that's necessarily because we're both veteran guys who've been around for a long time. I had great debates with Bryan Murray in Anaheim, and he was a veteran guy who'd been in the game, in the NHL for 25 years and I'd just arrived, but we had the same kind of...Debates, back and forth, and I thought it was real healthy back then as well.
Babcock spends the first half of his interview discussing the Canadian Olympic orientation camp and the difference that "big ice" makes. After addressing the Holland-Babcock dynamic, he talks about the celebrity/alumni game at the Red Wings' training camp in Traverse City.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.