Blue Jackets intend to hire Mike Babcock as next head coach

The Columbus Blue Jackets intend to name Mike Babcock as their new head coach once his contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs is completed at the end of this month, Sportsnet has confirmed.

Babcock hasn’t coached in the NHL since he was fired by the Maple Leafs in November 2019. His eight-year contract with the club finishes at the end of this month.

He joined the University of Saskatchewan in February 2021 and coached the men’s hockey team for one season. He announced his retirement on Aug. 26, 2022.

The 60-year-old Babcock has coached 1,301 games in the NHL earning 700 wins over 17 seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings and Maple Leafs.

He won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008 and guided the club back to the Stanley Cup Final the following year. Babcock also reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Ducks during his first season behind the bench in 2003.

On top of winning the Stanley Cup, Babcock has led Canada to gold medals at the world championship in 2004 plus the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014 and is the only coach who is a member of the Triple Gold Club.

Babcock is a three-time finalist for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in the NHL.

Columbus fired head coach Brad Larsen on April 15 after the Blue Jackets missed the playoffs for the second straight season and finished last in the Eastern Conference with a 25-48-9 record. The team holds the third-overall pick in the upcoming NHL Draft.

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