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Ares: Mike Babcock, Joel Quenneville will have to wait for redemption. how long?

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “There is no second act in American life,” but that is absolutely wrong. Martha Stewart Is on the cover of the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, isn’t she? America loves redemption. For example, Tiger Woods is on his second redemption. Or maybe his third. It’s hard to keep track.

Currently, the blue jacket One of five NHL teams with a coaching vacancy. The others are the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. More may come (Pittsburgh? Toronto?).

One of these teams is probably going to hire Mike Babcock, who needs redemption. According to New York Post hockey columnist Larry Brooks, the team could be the Blue Jackets. I can only add that Babcock has some support in the Jackett’s hockey operations department, and his candidacy is a serious one.

Babcock has won 700 NHL games, one Stanley Cup, and two Olympic gold medals, among other things.

Someone else is probably going to hire Joel Quenneville, who needs not only redemption, but the blessing of league commissioner Gary Bateman. I don’t think Jacquet is going the Q route because his timeline for naming the coach is ahead of Bateman’s timeline for possible reinstatement of Quenneville.

Quenneville has won 969 NHL games – he is second on the all-time list behind Scotty Bowman – and three Stanley Cups.

I think the Jackets are going to promote him to associate coach Pascal Vincent, but this is just speculation on my part. I don’t discount anything or anyone, not Babcock, not even Quenville.

As Tom Petty tells us in “Lonesome Sundown,” redemption comes to those who wait, and forgiveness is the key. How long must one wait to be delivered? that is the question. The court of public opinion is imaginary.

Mike Babcock was fired as Maple Leafs coach in November 2019. The players later accused him of being verbally abusive.

Babcock, 60, was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019 with four years remaining on his contract. On his way out the door, he was accused of verbal and psychological abuse by several former players. Two anecdotes stand out.

No. 1: The Toronto Sun reported that in Mitch Marner’s rookie season of 2016-17, Babcock asked Marner To make a list of veterans in the team and rank them first-to-last in terms of work ethic. That list was shared with at least one ex-serviceman.

As Babcock seeks atonement, he describes a lesson learned wrong, admits he made a mistake and says he has apologized to Marner.

No. 2: Babcock, coach of the Detroit Red Wings, during a playoff game in 2008 verbally attacked On Johan Franzen who sent chills through the Detroit bench.

Franzen, whose career was cut short by post-concussion syndrome, told a Swedish newspaper that he feared going to the rink when Babcock was his coach. He said that Babcock, “is a horrible person. The worst people I’ve ever met. He’s a bully who was attacking people. It could have been anybody.”

Babcock was portrayed on his way out the door in Toronto, a particularly tough media market at the center of the hockey universe: calculative and verbally abusive. Is it a huge stretch to say that John Tortorella was similarly pictured while leaving New York or Vancouver? How can Pierre-Luc Dubois describe The Dark Side of Tortella in Columbus?

Do these illustrations describe the full measure of a man or coach?

Certainly, Babcock has reasons to take a long look in the mirror. What does he see now? Does he need to apologize to anyone? He waited four years for his next chance, but is that long enough? Will fans accept him? Will there be players?

Quenneville was forced to leave his job as coach of the Florida Panthers in 2021 when the past caught up with his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Lawsuits were flying. The suits were based on allegations of sexual abuse, the alleged perpetrator was a former Blackhawks video coach, Brad Aldrich, and one of the victims was a former Blackhawks player, Kyle Beach.

The Blackhawks covered it for 10 years.

Quenneville was in the room when the allegations were first discussed in 2010, just after the Blackhawks had won the Western Conference title and just before winning the Stanley Cup. Quenneville is portrayed as being concerned that his team was losing focus amidst a circus of bad PR. He left the room with the confidence that the team president was going to address the issue.

Quenneville said nothing.

Three weeks passed before a team executive reported the incident to the human resources department. Aldrich was given a choice – either resign or be investigated. Aldrich chose the former. At his next job, on the hockey staff at Miami University in Oxford, he was accused of sexual harassment (no charges were filed). He was later convicted of criminal sexual assault and sentenced to nine months in prison in Michigan. The victim was a high school player.

I had read 69 page report more than once. This shoots down one of the common, public complaints against Quenneville, that he recommended Aldrich for the job. He did not. In the grand scheme of things, does it matter?

Quenneville was one of several men – along with team president John McDonough, GM Stan Bowman, and assistant GM Kevin Cheveldioff – who were in the room in 2010. All of them let Aldrich loose. What is Quenneville’s fault? Cheveldioff’s involvement in the cover-up has been called “minor” and he has kept his GM job in Winnipeg. Is it comparable?

Can Quenneville (or, for that matter, Cheveldioff, or any of them) ever forgive himself? Has he apologized to the victims of Eldritch? Can they forgive her?

Can Quenneville be redeemed?

If so then when? and where?

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This article was originally published on the Columbus Dispatch: Babcock, Quenneville Wait On NHL’s Second Acts, Can Columbus Deliver It?



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