Finally it’s becoming clear that former NHL coach Mike Babcock was no saint. Remember, he was recently fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs. While no odd stories came out – it was just a case of a team not meeting expectations – a story is out Monday that is unfortunate to hear.
Furthermore, the story is told by former NHL player Chris Chelios on the Spitting Chicklets Podcast. Chelios talks about a time when Babcock verbally assaulted one of his own players.
Babcock verbally assaulted Johan Franzen on the bench, causing Franzen a nervous break down pic.twitter.com/KBU3Qf5q7B
— Peter Andrianopoulos (@peterandri) December 2, 2019
Notably, this event occurred while Babcock was coach of the Detroit Red Wings. The player that Chelios says was verbally assaulted is Johann Franzen, who suffered from a myriad of concussions during the later end of his NHL career.
Moreover, here is the story Chelios tells; and you can hear the audio of it in the tweet above.
“That would be an easy one. Would be Johann Franzen. He was hurt at the time, we got upset by Nashville. Some of the things he said to him on the bench, but he blatantly verbally assaulted him on the bench. It got to the point that poor Johann suffering with the concussion thing and depression, he had a nervous breakdown not only on the bench but in the locker room after. That was a tough thing to see.”
In conclusion, Chelios goes on to say that upper management wasn’t interested in hearing about Babcock’s verbal cruelty towards his own players. Rather, the respective general manager of the team that time took an attitude that if the players didn’t like it; they had the option to be traded.
Once thought to be a respected head coach in the NHL, it’s tough to say whether or not Babcock will ever get another shot if stories like this continue to surface.