Johnny Gaudreau "Excited" To Play For Mike Babcock In 2023-24; "He's A Really Good Dude"

In his second season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, star winger Johnny Gaudreau is approaching the campaign with renewed optimism and comfort.

Despite facing challenges and injuries during his debut season, Gaudreau's solid offensive numbers demonstrated his skill and potential, despite a significant drop-off from the season prior.

Looking ahead, Gaudreau expresses increased familiarity with both the team and the city, contributing to a more at-home feeling.

One significant factor in Gaudreau's positive outlook is his interaction with new head coach Mike Babcock.

Gaudreau had a meaningful conversation with Babcock, during which he found the coach to be a "really good dude."

Gaudreau's positive impression and alignment with Babcock's coaching style, characterized by high expectations, demanding practices, and a strong emphasis on accountability, bode well for the team's growth and performance.

Gaudreau draws from his past successes under similarly demanding coaches like Bob Hartley and Darryl Sutter, indicating his comfort with this approach.

Additionally, he highlights the team's younger players as an exciting element that adds vigor to practices and games.

With Babcock's coaching intensity and Gaudreau's leadership, there's optimism for the Columbus Blue Jackets to navigate challenges and make strides towards a successful season. Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports