Mike Babcock new head coach of U of S Huskies Men’s Hockey
The Stanley Cup winner in Saskatoon
With the NHL season in full swing, it’s interesting to see a piece of the league make its way to Saskatchewan. For those who haven’t heard the news, former NHL head coach Mike Babcock will be the new head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Men’s Hockey team.
According to the U of S Huskies article regarding the situation, it will not be a long wait for individuals to see what Babcock will bring to the organization, as he “will begin his new role with the Huskies in May 2021”. Babcock will also bring his impressive track record of being not only a Stanley Cup Champion, but also a World Champion, gold medallist, and World Junior Champion.
Babcock’s track record was reflected via comments made by U of S President Peter Stoicheff in the same article: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Mike Babcock, one of the most decorated hockey coaches in Canadian history, to the U of S and to Huskie Athletics as the new head coach of the men’s hockey team”.
Diving further into his background, Babcock has had a rich history of success, and near successes, throughout his NHL days. Going back to his first official job with the Anaheim Ducks in 2002, he took the Ducks to a 2003 Stanley Cup Final against the New Jersey Devils, but fell short of glory via a game seven loss.
Instead of remaining in Anaheim, Babcock set his sights elsewhere by heading to the Detroit Red Wings organization after the NHL lockout of 2004-2005. It was here that Mike Babcock would find that Stanley Cup glory. During the 2008 season with the Red Wings, Babcock and company defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins to win the big one (with notable players such as Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg). The following year, however, Babcock did not see a second victory, as there was a rematch for the Cup between the Penguins and the Red Wings, this time with the Penguins coming out on top instead.
The years went on in Detroit with ups and downs, but Babcock did not end his NHL career with the Red Wings. Instead, he found his way to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015. Unfortunately, unlike that of the Red Wings, Babcock found minimal success with the Leafs organizations. On a positive note, a last place finish with Babcock as head coach allowed the Leafs to gain the draft pick that brought Auston Matthews onto the squad.
Now, Babcock is returning to his home of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where he will look to be an experienced figure from whom players can learn. As mentioned by Huskie Athletics Chief Athletics Officer Dave Hardy in the Huskies Athletics article: “Our top priority, especially during these challenging circumstances, is to make Huskie Athletics the top program in the country for our remarkable student-athletes. With the appointment of Mike Babcock, we are succeeding in that commitment.”
All in all, no one knows what the future holds for U of S Huskies Men’s Hockey moving forward, but it does look bright with Babcock at the coaching position.