It has been a bad time to be Mike Babcock. The former Toronto Maple Leaf’s coach, who was fired last Wednesday amidst the team’s disastrous start to the season, has been dragged through the mud ever since Sheldon Keefe replaced him. It doesn’t help that the 56-year-old’s former team has been doing objectively better since his ousting. However, it isn’t just the fact that Leaf’s are winning again that has their former coach catching slack, vicious rumours have also begun swirl about how Babcock treats his players.
The Toronto Sun recently revealed that the ex-coach allegedly asked one of the Leafs’ rookies to make him a list of all the players on the team, ranking them in order of hardest working to slackers.
The rookie, not wanting to get off to a bad start with his coach, followed his rules only to be humiliated when the ex-Leafs coach read the list out loud to his teammates.
The Athletic later picked up on the sport and revealed that the rookie in the story was none other than Leafs star Mitch Marner or as some are now calling him online “Snitch Marner.”
“I heard about this Babcock story when it happened, but I didn’t want to bring it up until I could confirm it was true. The rookie he did this to was Mitch Marner,” Ian Tulloch, a contributor for the news outlet, wrote on Twitter.
Two former NHL players attacked Babcock last week, with one even going as far as to call the coach a “terrible human being.”
Mike Commodore, who played with the Hurricanes during their 2006 Stanley Cup run, tore into his old coach on Twitter following the news of his firing from the team.
"Hey Mike Babcock, simply put your players quit on you. They quit on you because you are a terrible human being,” the player wrote in a scathing Twitter rant last week.
Former NHL defenceman Mark Fraser later defended Commodore's remarks, stating that based on his conversations and stories related to him, “95%” of Babcock’s players “can’t say a good thing about” him.
Fraser also added that his former coach “used his power to turn teammates against each other.”