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Laine Confirms Babcock's "Hard" Reputation in First Meeting

Published July 19, 2023 at 11:40
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After a brief hiatus from the league, Mike Babcock's return to NHL coaching has already turned some heads this offseason. His tough-love coaching style previously led to his short-tenured retirement, where he coached at the University of Saskatchewan.

His return to the NHL and his new team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, raised some questions about how star player Patrik Laine would react. Laine has a history of conflict with tough coaching, notably John Tortorella.

First Conversations



Laine said this about his first meeting with Babcock:


"We had a good talk. [Babcock is] tough but honest, so I respect that. However, everything we discussed is private, and I'm not going to share it with you."

While Laine didn't say that there was any ill will or contention between the two, and the conversation seemed productive, his decision to keep conversations private may raise some eyebrows for Blue Jackets Fans.

Laine did discuss his excitement to play with new addition Adam Fantilli:

"I watched [Fantilli] in the World [Championships]. He seems like a talented young player," Laine said. "I'm excited to have him here and will try to assist him as much as I can. It's tough to enter the league at 18, especially as a high pick. I've been in a similar situation before."

The two should make for an exciting pair this season and hopefully will bring the Blue Jackets back to life after a disappointing 2022-23.

Credit: Hockeypatrol.com
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Laine Confirms Babcock's "Hard" Reputation in First Meeting

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