Thursday, February 25, 2021

Babcock To Lead Huskies

U Sports men's hockey was in the national sports spotlight this week as the Saskatchewan Huskies announced Stanley Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medal-winning coach Mike Babcock as their new head coach. The former Maple Leafs bench boss will replace long-time Huskies coach Dave Adolph, who will be retiring in May as the winningest coach in Canadian university men's hockey history.

Babcock returns to his roots as he grew up in Saskatoon and played the 1981-1982 season for the Huskies. He would later coach the now-defunct Lethbridge Pronghorns for one season in 1993-1994, leading the school to their only national championship. 

This seems like an ideal situation for Babcock. With Toronto still paying him 5.85 million per year through the 2022-2023 season, this allows him to get back to coaching on a volunteer basis for two seasons in his hometown, near his family, for a program and a league that he has strong ties to. It will also give him the chance to repair his reputation after a number of scathing allegations about his coaching style and character emerged since his dismissal in Toronto. 

For U Sports, having a coach of Babcock's stature in the league should create some buzz and and bring national attention to a league that desperately needs any publicity it can get.