The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/05/13 at 11:24 AM ET
This is going to go over well...Via RedWingsFeed and MLive's Brendan Savage, NHL.com took a poll among 10 of their writers and NHL Network contributors, and Corey Masisak reports that the group deemed Red Wings coach Mike Babcock to be the league's best coach:
1. Mike Babcock (5 first-place votes) -- 68 points: Babcock is proof that a great coach can come from just about anywhere in hockey. His only playing experience as a professional came in England, though he was a captain at McGill University. He didn't have a ton of success at the Canadian junior level as a coach, reaching the Western Hockey League finals twice in eight years.
Even after two undistinguished years in the American Hockey League, it would have been hard to peg Babcock as a prodigy, but he has been a star at the NHL level. He helped the Anaheim Ducks to the Stanley Cup Final in 2003 as a rookie NHL bench boss, and now has three Final appearances on his resume, including the 2008 championship with the Detroit Red Wings. He's led Canada to a gold medal at the World Championships in 2004 and the Winter Olympics in 2010.
"I'm surprised that Mike Babcock received just half of the first-place votes," NHL.com managing editor Shawn Roarke said. "The man has a Stanley Cup ring and an Olympic gold medal. That's a pretty good resume in and of itself, if you ask me. In fact, he is the only coaching member of the IIHF Triple Crown club: Cup, Olympic title and World Championship with Canada. A pretty exclusive club, for sure. For good measure, he has also won at the World Junior level and Canadian university level. Simply, he has won at every stop of his career.
"The reason is because he relates to all kinds of players and gets the most out of them by finding a role for them in the team that best suits their skill set. Plus, as he proved at the Olympics, he has the requisite ego and the cult of personality to deal with superstar players and bend them to the good of the club."
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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.