Mike Babcock was relieved of his duty as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. 

After an investigation was launched by the NHLPA the Columbus Blue Jackets have parted ways will head coach Mike Babcock. Babcock was hired on July 1st as the replacement for Brad Larsen who lead the Jackets for two uneventful seasons.

Babcock has been a staple in the NHL coaching rankings for the past twenty years. Starting in Anaheim where he lead to Mighty Ducks to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2003. Then moved on to Detroit, winning the Cup in 2008. And coaching the Maple Leafs for four seasons which included three straight years of first round playoff exits. He was fired a quarter of the was through the 2019-20 season. After spending so time as a volunteer for the University of Saskatchewan Babcock was hired as the head coach in Columbus.

Babcock is known for his harsh coaching style similar to Flyers coach John Tortorella. This includes allegations of verbal abuse towards players and living star players as a healthy scratch when they are in a rut. Babcock’s latest controversy steams from invading player’s privacy.

First reported on Paul Bissonnette’s podcast Spittin’ Chiclets alleges inappropriate behavior during a team meeting. During a character building exercise Babcock ordered players to show images the camera roll of their personal phone. Babcock claimed this was to see what type of character his players are. And Blue Jackets captain said the whole thing who blown out of proportion. Stating that “He then asked if I had pictures of my family and I was happy to share some with him. He showed me pictures of his family. I thought it was a great first meeting and good way for us to start to build a relationship.” While younger players were uncomfortable with the situation.

After an investigation by the NHLPA was launched the Blue Jackets and Mike Babcock decided to part ways with Babcock stepping down on his own before he ever coached a game in Columbus. Assistant coach Pascal Vincent has been appointed as the head coach for the Blue Jackets. Vincent spent time as a head coach and general manager in the Quebec Major Junior League. And spent the last ten years with the Winnipeg Jets organization. First as an assistant coach and then the head coach of their AHL club the Manitoba Moose. He joined the Blue Jackets staff in 2021.

The Flyers open the regular season in Columbus on October 12.  

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