First Up: Darren Dreger on the Mike Babcock situation in Columbus.
** NHLRumors.com transcription
“Well, what we can tell you is that there will be meetings I believe in New York between the NHL and the Players Association. Now, it’s a previously scheduled meeting, so even though the main focus will be the Babcock situation, they’ll discuss other items because they’ve got a lot of work to do between the league and the PA with certain calendar things they’re sorting through and all that.
But make no mistake about it, a lot of Babcock discussion, and likely the NHL dissecting some of the findings that Marty Walsh and Ron Hainsey discovered as part of their trip to Columbus .
The reason why the executive director and his right hand man Hainsey went to Columbus is because when this was first reported by Spittin’ Chicklets, obviously there was the backlash myself and others reported. The pushback from the Columbus Blue Jackets with statements from Babcock, from Boone Jenner the captain of Blue Jackets, etc.
And you’re right Aaron, it seemed like it was probably going to fade away earlier in the week to maybe mid-week. But then the PA started to get additional information and maybe doubled back in having conversations with certain players. Whoever those players are. I don’t know. That then prompted the need for Walsh and Hainsey to get on a plane and go to Columbus and have face-to-face discussions, which they did.
So, it’s difficult to speculate on what the true findings are but they’re serious. They’re serious. So is going to be an interesting day, both in whether or not we can ascertain as to exactly what they PA found and heard from the Blue Jackets players. And then how the NHL expects the Columbus Blue Jackets ownership to respond to the these findings.
So I think it’s going to be pivotal in terms of the future of Mike Babcock with Columbus.
Host: “Dregs, considering we’re at the point where we are where both PA and the NHL are meeting to discuss this situation, do you think there could be a scenario here where Mike Babcock could potentially be removed as the head coach?”
Dreger: “Yeah. I mean that’s plausible. It is. I’m not saying that is going to happen. Not reporting that is going to happen. But at this stage and based on the information that has been discovered and percolated to the surface in the last 48 hours, I think there’s a chance of that.
And then beyond that Carlo, don’t you wonder about management of the Columbus Blue Jackets?”
Colaiacovo: “Yeah, considering the statement they came out with. Yeah.”
Dreger: “Well, there is a track record of this stuff, right? We know that Babcock did something similar with the Toronto Maple Leafs. You know, there’s been long history and reporting on Babcock’s time with the Detroit Red Wings. So, you know, there’s history in how this man goes about his coaching business.
So, you know, should Jarmo Kekalainen be held accountable for hiring Mike Babcock in the first place? I don’t know the answer to that. That’s an answer that can only be answered by ownership of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
But I’m not reporting it’s going to happen. I’m not predicting it’s going to happen. To answer your question ‘Is it possible?” It is. Yes.”
NHLPA statement on today’s meeting pic.twitter.com/j7RN4vfrYh
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 15, 2023