Judgment Day has come for Mike Babcock as he resigned as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Mike Babcock resigns as Head Coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets; club names Pascal Vincent Head Coach
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) September 17, 2023
It is expected that Mike Babcock will resign as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets this afternoon
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 17, 2023
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet was not the only one who reported this. Aaron Portzline also was hearing the same thing and then it happened right before 4 pm Eastern time.
Friedman: According to multiple sources, one of the most serious concerns was a meeting that occurred away from team facilities that included “several minutes” of looking through a phone. That was beyond the scope of what was initially understood to have occurred.
Press Release: After much discussion and careful consideration, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Mike Babcock have together agreed to begin the process for Mike Babcock to step down as head coach effective immediately. The club also announced that Associate Coach Pascal Vincent has been named head coach and agreed to a two-year contract through the 2024-25 National Hockey League season.
“This was a difficult decision on everyone’s part, but one we felt necessary to ensure our focus remains on the players and the team’s upcoming season,” said Blue Jackets General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen. “On behalf of the entire Blue Jackets organization, we want to thank Mike for his hard work and the professionalism he has shown in working together on a plan to step down.”
“Upon reflection, it has become clear that continuing as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets was going to be too much of a distraction,” said Mike Babcock. “While I’m disappointed to not have had the opportunity to continue the work we’ve begun, I know it’s in the best interest of the organization for me to step away at this time. I wish everyone in the organization well in the upcoming season.”
This was the only way this situation was going to end as the NHL and NHLPA wrapped up their investigation into Mike Babcock and the allegations about scrolling through players’ phones and looking at their pictures.
Sources say #CBJ and Mike Babcock are indeed parting ways.
Investigation by #NHLPA left no path for Babcock to continue as coach. Much of last 24-48 hours was spent negotiating his exit.
Strong message sent: Treat all players with respect, as you would in any proper workplace.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) September 17, 2023
Mike Babcock has a history of bullying and playing mind games with players dating back to his days with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. Babcock also coached the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. But he will not even make it to the season because of his old ways.
Mike Babcock has allegedly been asking various Blue Jackets to see their phones then AirPlaying their photos on his office TV.
— Spittin’ Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) September 12, 2023
Soon after both Babcock and Boone Jenner issued statements in regards to the situation. Johnny Gaudreau in speaking with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek felt the meetings with Babcock went well and did not feel uncomfortable in them.
The NHLPA director Marty Walsh and Assistant Executive Director Ron Hainsey travelled to Columbus during the week to meet with some Blue Jackets as part of the investigation into Mike Babcock and viewing of players’ phones/photos.
“Based on the information that has been discovered and percolated to the surface in the last 48 hours, I think there’s a chance Babcock’s job could be in question… I’m not reporting or predicting it’s going to happen, but there’s a chance that happens.”@DarrenDreger on… pic.twitter.com/ZE0MUd3Gcr
— First Up (@FirstUp1050) September 15, 2023
It sounded like things were going to be smooth sailing for Babock and Blue Jackets until more things came to the surface as the NHLPA stated out there and then met with the NHL in a planned meeting in NYC where they released a statement. In addition the NHLPA met with former players Babcock coached to get a better understanding of his ways.
NHLPA statement on probe into Mike Babcock allegations. Worth pointing out its characterized as an “ongoing review.”
Union has been canvassing players with information to share — both current players in CBJ and those who played for Babcock before. Expect that to continue pic.twitter.com/92eRq3rf9E
— Katie Strang (@KatieJStrang) September 15, 2023
The Columbus Blue Jackets also named Pascal Vincent as their new head coach.
It will be interesting to see if any other changes are made to the Blue Jackets management including GM Jarmo Kekalainen.