Babcock’s rookie hazing was ridiculous and destructive to the team

With the Mike Babcock era over in Toronto, some information has come out regarding his tenure as head coach. How he handled Mitch Marner as a rookie is completely unacceptable.

The story from the Toronto Sun initially came out without specifics on who the player in question was, but as the story goes:

“Babcock was alleged to have asked 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 his coach, but was taken aback when Babcock told the players who had been listed at the bottom.”

Not only is this completely destructive when it comes to building a relationship between player and coach, but it’s also insanely self-defeating as it causes a rift between players on the same team! I have no idea where Babcock would have got this idea from but it’s not old school or new school coaching, it’s self-involved psychotic narcissistic behavior and it’s a blessing that he’s out of the team.

Ian Tulloch later confirmed on Twitter that the rookie in question was Mitch Marner. If the move wasn’t moronic enough, making your future star player the center of a dressing room controversy when he’d already been under the spotlight and scrutiny for his team-driving play and eventual monster contact shows that Babcock may have something severely wrong in his head.

Since he’s been gone (Kelly Clarkson reference), the Leafs have been envigorated in their two games under Keefe. The emotion is back, the raw skill is taking over, and the team doesn’t seem to quit. With the target of Babcock’s hazing (Mitch Marner) still out injured, he is clearly happy with the Buds’ turn of form and seems relieved to say the least.

I’ve never been one to actively cheer against someone or celebrate in their downfall, it’s just an unclassy thing to do. After Babcock’s firing watching Mike Commodore celebrate on Twitter or Jeff O’Neill continuously dance on his grave on TSN radio seemed like overkill. Now, however, I’m on their side.

Babcock has a Hall of Fame career behind him, that is indisputable. What is becoming more apparent, though, is that he also has a hell of a lot of skeletons in his closet that may surface sooner rather than later. It’s clear Babcock ruled with an iron fist in his own bubble world but with players no longer scared to speak out, his reputation could take a massive hit, rightfully so.

Published by

Adam Smith

Avid fan of The Toronto Maple Leafs, West Ham United, Minnesota Vikings, and Toronto Blue Jays. Involved in all things sports from playing (poorly) to tracking on twitter, my love for the teams I support tends to bleed into all aspects of my life!

5 thoughts on “Babcock’s rookie hazing was ridiculous and destructive to the team”

  1. I can remember years ago the Leafs brought in a Psychologist to build the team’s confidence. As a Young Lad I thought this showed some innovative thought process by the Leafs Management.
    As a Social Worker (plus I coached Minor Hockey) I watched some of the workouts and the behaviorism on the Ice and the bench during a game. I felt back in November that there had to be some Psychological Abuse happening to this team. I watched the Assistants reacting with the players and they reacted to their suggestions in a sort of a positive manner and then I watched Babs.
    In the November I heard a Star Reporter commenting on what Babs said to this Player who was called up and that person left the ice immediately. So I wrote about it on Leafs Nation Facebook page what I heard and stated that if Babs would say this to this young player what is he saying or doing to the other players. Leafs Nation Fans jumped all over me. Two people came to my aide and stated that what I was saying is truthful….
    So the TRUTH that is coming out; does not surprise me…
    I do Blame Shanni and Dubas and mostly these New Assistants that never made it known to the Upper Management.
    I also would question the Leafs Medical Staff who is on the Payroll.

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