Babcock unsure of NHL coaching return: report


Mike Babcock said he is unsure if he will coach in the NHL again.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” Babcock told The Athletic in comments published Tuesday. “It’s got to be the right fit. But I’ve stayed busy. My interaction with NHL coaches has been spectacular. It’s unbelievable. And I’ve talked to a number of managers, so that’s been a lot of fun.”

Babcock, who was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 20, 2019, is the eighth winningest coach in NHL history. The 57-year-old was 700-418-164 with 19 ties in 17 seasons with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Detroit Red Wings and Maple Leafs, and won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008. He was 90-74 in 164 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He helped Toronto reach the playoffs three straight seasons from 2016-19 but failed to advance past the Eastern Conference First Round. Babcock was 173-133-45 in five seasons with the Maple Leafs.

“I don’t know what’s next,” Babcock said. “But I do know there’s a shortened season here, everybody’s got a coach, the chance of me coaching in the NHL this year is very, very slim.”

Babcock also said he would not consider himself as a candidate to coach Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. He led Canada to the gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

“It’s someone else’s turn,” Babcock said. “I can turn around right now in my place here and I can look at those championship pictures with everyone gathered around. It’s something you’re going to remember for the rest of your life. To be an Olympian, to have had success, to represent your country, and the relationships you built with all those coaches and managers, spectacular.”

Babcock, who joined the University of Vermont hockey team as a volunteer adviser this season, will serve as a studio analyst for NBC Sports for several telecasts.

“It will be interesting,” he said. “I’ve been watching games and preparing for my three games. That will be fun to go in and see if you like it, and whether you’re any good at it.”

Tweet from @PierreVLeBrun: Mike Babcock breaks his silence. My interview with the former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach:

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