With interviews happening all week, we’re certain there are a lot of people who aren’t being talked about at all. But, a few names have been bounced around the fanbase and reported by media.
Mike Babcock’s name immediately riled up the fanbase. Whether that’s good or bad is debatable; I can remember when Tortorella’s name first came up, the same thing happened. One thing we can’t do here is look past the facts: in 1,301 games as NHL coach, Babcock has a record of 700-418-164 (with 19 ties).
He’s a guy who has had tremendous success, and like Laviolette and Tortorella, he has a way of getting the most out of his players. His scheme focuses less on checking and more on puck possession and skill, which would be appealing for a young team like the Blue Jackets.
But with that said, he’s come under fire for his old-school approach to coaching, which may not resonate with the U25 players on this team. It’s hard to see this hire happening for these reasons – I can’t see Jarmo risking his career on a coach whose no-nonsense attitude may drive out the best group of prospects this franchise has ever had.
Patrick Roy’s name came up via the 32 thoughts podcast, which also created a firestorm amongst the masses of Blue Jacket fans. Like Babcock, Roy brings a big personality; one that will not allow players to clash with him. But unlike Babcock, Roy doesn’t have a long history of success at the NHL level – holding just a 130-92-24 record as an NHL head coach.
Roy eventually stepped down from the Avalanche, in part because he wanted more power over his own lineups. This may prevent him from being a serious contender for an NHL job, unless he wants to concede to just being a coach.
I have a hard time seeing either Babcock or Roy hired by the Jackets at this point, but admittedly, anything is possible here. After all, they hired John Tortorella at a time when many thought his NHL coaching career was finished.