Former Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has a new job as a studio analyst for NBC Sports.
Babcock spent 10 seasons with the Red Wings from 2005-2015, posting a record of 458-223-105 in 786 career games.
He coached Detroit to a Stanley Cup championship in 2008. They nearly repeated in 2009 but lost in the final to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Babcock left Detroit in 2015 when he signed an 8-year, $50 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, he was fired in November 2019. In parts of five seasons under Babcock, the Maple Leafs posted a record of 173-133-45 in 351 regular-season games and an 8-12 record in three postseason appearances.
More recently Babcock has been working as an advisor to the University of Vermont’s ice hockey coaches.
Babcock presumably is taking over the vacant NBC Sports analyst spot left by Mike Milbury, who stepped away from broadcasting the rest of the NHL playoffs after his on-air comment that there were no women in the league’s quarantined bubble to disrupt concentration drew widespread criticism.
Babcock himself faced criticism after his Toronto firing when several former players spoke out about their bad experiences with the coach.
Johan Franzen went as far as calling Babcock “the worst person” he had ever met.
“As a coach he is extremely accurate and prepared. He is great at putting together a gaming system and getting everyone to buy into it. That’s his strong side,” Franzen told Expressen. “But then he’s a terrible man, the worst person I’ve ever met. A bully who cheated on people, it could be cleaners in the Detroit arena or anyone. He jumped on people just because.”
Because of these statements from former players, it was unclear if Babcock would ever get another job behind a NHL bench.
NBC is facing criticism for the hire from fans on social media.