Shocking new details emerge regarding Mike Babcock and Mitch Marner

Graham Montgomery
June 1, 2024  (5:04 PM)

Former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock giving an end-of-season exit interview
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Several new stories have emerged regarding Mike Babcock as some of his former players have stepped up to share their thoughts on the notorious coach.

Babcock's reputation took a major hit when a story emerged about his treatment of one Leafs rookie in particular during the 2016-17 season. He reportedly asked the player to list the players on the team in order of hardest to least hardest working, and then told the rest of the team how the players had been ranked.
One tale was related to us in the past few days is said to have occurred in the 2016-17 season, during the annual father's trip.

Babcock was alleged to have one of the Leafs rookies to list the players on the team from hardest-working to those who, in the eyes of the rookie, didn't have a strong work ethic. The rookie did so, not wanting to upset the coach, but was taken aback when Babcock told the players who had been listed at the bottom.
Since then, it has been suggested that the rookie in question was Mitch Marner, although this has not been confirmed by Marner himself. However, when this story first emerged, many thought that is might have been a singular incident or something that was uncharacteristic of the coach. They could not have been more wrong. The Athletic just published a new article about Babcock today, shedding light on his horrific practices throughout his career.
For years, Mike Babcock's behavior was notorious in NHL locker rooms. A winning reputation shielded him from serious scrutiny.

Following his exit from Columbus, @RobsonDan and @KatieJStrang spoke to his former players and staffers about their experiences.
The article contained one story about his first training camp as a head coach in the NHL, which came with the Anaheim Ducks. Veteran Denny Lambert shared a story about how Babcock had forced Lambert off the team as well as a couple of other veterans and told them they couldn't even participate in training camp. Making matters worse was the fact that Lambert's son was in the hospital at the time and that Babcock showed no respect to the players whatsoever.
In his first NHL training camp, Babcock sidelined three well-liked veterans: Jason York, Denny Lambert and German Titov. Lambert and York said they arrived at the Ducks training camp to find their names had been removed from their stalls and gear cleared out. Babcock told them they could not be around the team at all, they said. The players practiced alone on empty ice in the afternoon.

At the time, Lambert's 2-year-old son was in the hospital with a broken femur; he said he wouldn't have left his family in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, if the Ducks had told him he was unwanted.

«There was no respect at all,» Lambert said. «I would never treat anyone like that.»

The full story can be seen on the Athletic, where several more instances like this can be read for yourself. Needless to say, Babcock hopefully will never return to the NHL.