The Candidate of Chaos
Please, don’t stop reading. I have to start by saying, this is not the hire I would want the Nashville Predators to make, but we have to exhaust all options, because I think we did just the opposite in hiring Hynes as quickly as we did.
Mike Babcock comes with a ton of baggage. I mean, this guy has more baggage than a Southwest Airlines flight from Nashville to Hawaii, and I don’t know if you know this or not, but “bags fly free” on Southwest (het…Southwest Airlines…sponsor my travel goals, and I’ll give you all the shameless plugs you want).
Babcock’s departure from Toronto was messy, to say the least, but it was also the first time he had actually been fired from a coaching job, and there’s a good reason why.
We may not like Babcock, but we got to know him pretty well from 2005-2015. He’s the guy whose teams kicked our butts for a decade as he coached the Detroit Red Wings.
The 2008 Stanley Cup winning coach never had a losing record behind the bench for the Red Wings, and in fact never finished below fourth in the division (and that only happened ONCE).
It’s easy to forget that the 2007-2008 iteration of the Predators scored the most goals in a season in franchise history, and still got bounced in the first round by Babcock and his Red Wings. Even with Toronto, he only had one losing season out of the four.
I’m not saying he is the hire to make, and I think he has a lot about his style that likely needs changing. It’s tough for an old dog to learn new tricks, and even tougher for a guy who has earned the reputation as a bit of a hard-nosed general and old-school hockey mind.
Still, for those who didn’t hear Brad Richardson during the first intermission of the game on March 4th, he called the team “soft”, and that’s about as damning as a player can be on themselves and their teammates.
You know who doesn’t allow his teams to be soft, sometimes to the point of detriment? Mike Babcock. He’s not my favorite pick, but he’s someone worth kicking the tires on.