Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Mike Babcock to step down after 2 months with team

Mike Babcock, mike babcock
Posted at 4:50 PM, Sep 17, 2023

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach Mike Babcock will be stepping down from his position immediately, the team announced on Sunday.

After two months of working with the team, Babcock will be resigning due to an investigation by the National Hockey League Players' Association regarding his conduct with the players.

“Upon reflection, it has become clear that continuing as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets was going to be too much of a distraction,” Babcock said in a statement. “While I’m disappointed to not have had the opportunity to continue the work we’ve begun, I know it’s in the best interest of the organization for me to step away at this time. I wish everyone in the organization well in the upcoming season.”

Babcock had been named the head coach on July 1, 2023, making his return to the NHL after being fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019 amid allegations he was fueling a toxic work environment.

Similar allegations recently arose with his arrival in Columbus. On the podcast Spittin’ Chiclets, Babcock was accused of inappropriately going through photos on his players' phones.

Babcock and Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner issued a statement on Tuesday in response.

The club announced that Pascal Vincent will now serve as the Blue Jackets head coach and has agreed to a two-year contract through the 2024-2025 season.

Vincent began working with the team as an associate coach in 2021.

He previously spent 10 seasons as a member of the Winnipeg Jets organization; five of those years were spent as the head coach of the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose from 2016 to 2021.

“Pascal Vincent is an outstanding coach,” Blue Jackets General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo said in a statement. “He knows our players and organization and is respected by everyone here. He was a strong candidate for our head coaching position several months ago and is in the best position to help us navigate this change as we begin camp and lead our team moving forward.”

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