Mike Babcock Making Return to NHL Coaching

Mike Babcock has found a new job. The polarizing head coach will be named the newest coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The announcement will come after June 30, when Babcock is finally off the books for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Blue Jackets have been searching for a new bench boss after firing Brad Larsen in April. The team missed the playoffs for the second season in a row, and finished second last in the entire NHL, spelling the end for Larsen.

As for Babcock, the news comes as a bit of a surprise after he did mention last August he was done coaching and was looking forward to retiring. Seems like money and opportunity have changed his tone.

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen did not confirm the news, however did say the team is doing their due diligence and the announcement will come 'when the time is right'. Babcock, 60, was fired by the Maple Leafs in November 2019 after the team was going through a losing streak and reports were surfacing about how he lost the dressing room. Babcock has a rich history of controversy in Toronto as he once had Mitch Marner call out things about some of his teammates in front of the entire team. Needless to say, giant risk for the Blue Jackets who better get this right as the franchise needs to starting winning some hockey games.

Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports