NHL News: Mike Babcock Resigns as Head Coach of Columbus

Judgment Day has come for Mike Babcock as he resigned as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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.

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.

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Allegations were first reported this past Tuesday on the Spittin’ Chicklets Podcast by Paul Bissonnette and Ryan Whitney involving Mike Babock, you know there is a storm to follow.

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.

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.

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.