Ex-Canuck Frank Corrado jumps in on the Mike Babcock camera roll drama in Columbus
Photo credit:© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
7 days ago
In case you missed it, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced an investigation on their new head coach Mike Babcock yesterday after a report from Paul Bissonnette of the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast claimed Babcock was going through players’ personal photos on their phones.
Here’s what Bissonnette said:
“I get a text from a player. He goes, ‘have you heard what Babcock is up to again?’ So he gets to Columbus, and one of the first things he does is he calls in Boone Jenner, the [expletive] captain of the team, and he says, ‘let me see the photos in your phone, I want to know the type of person you are.’ What the [expletive] is going on? is that it’s no Human League. I want to get him on the podcast to grill him about his antics, as a head coach. Like, worry about the [expletive] forecheck, worry about your personnel.”
The Blue Jackets put out this statement from both Babcock and captain Boone Jenner later in the day, essentially saying the retelling of events from Bissonnette is false:
Bissonnette tweeted that he has had “tons of players confirm” his report and added that Babcock can shove his statement up his rear end.
“When players from Columbus make a statement that the characterizations of Babcock from Biz and myself are false just know that’s [BS],” tweeted Ryan Whitney, another former NHLer and co-host on Spittin’ Chiclets. “I feel bad putting the players in a tough spot but Babcock is a complete weasel and shouldn’t be coaching in the NHL.”
One person who doesn’t seem to be buying what Babcock and the Blue Jackets are selling is ex-Canucks defenceman Frank Corrado, who played for Babcock when both were members of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Corrado spoke about his experience playing under Babcock and the differences between him and Canucks head coach John Tortorella on TSN 1050’s First Up.
“Well, obviously, we only know what we hear from credible sources,” said Corrado, who is now a regular on TSN programming. “And listen, if Paul Bissonnette is going public with something like that, I have every reason to believe that he got it from a credible source. He’s not going to torpedo his show and his reputation… Like he’s on major television platforms in the United States, he’s not going to sewer himself in that regard.“Listen, when you see the statement from Babcock and Boone Jenner, it’s like, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Boone Jenner is the captain, he’s a well-respected player in the league. It’s hard for us as outsiders to comment on what we think happened, it’s just speculation. I can only speak from my experience playing for the guy and my experiences were not great.“If you’re asking me what I think, I’ll go back to my experiences with the guy. I don’t think he handles himself well, I think he’s socially awkward, I don’t think he cares about your family — I know for a fact he doesn’t care about your family. All he cares about is himself. He’s been like that forever. I read this three-part puff piece that came out on Babs recently, and honestly like my stomach turned reading this thing because he’s talking about how he’s got a communication plan for every player and it’s like, no he doesn’t. He doesn’t care about anyone other than himself. So listen, not my place to comment on what I think may or may not have happened with the Blue Jackets players.“My experience with him, doesn’t really care about anyone other than himself. And that’s exactly how he’s going to operate every day even in Columbus. I played for [John] Tortorella. Tortorella is old school, he will get right in your face and he will tell you you’re playing like garbage or whatever the case may be. He tells it you direct and blunt and you may not like it. My issue and a lot of people’s issues with the way Babs does things is he doesn’t do that. He doesn’t get in your face. He doesn’t tell you direct and blunt and straightforward. He plays these stupid head games around you. And that’s what frustrates players, so I think it’s important to separate the two when it comes to old school guys. Old school, in your face, honest, that’s no problem for guys, it’s black and white. What he does, he dances around it and it messes with your head.”
Babcock hasn’t coached in the NHL since the Maple Leafs fired him in 2019. Plenty of stories detailing Babcock’s mind games with players have circulated since then. The Blue Jackets hired Babcock this past summer to serve as their head coach.
Regardless of all the accusations, it seems like the Blue Jackets’ players are putting up a united front in clearing Babcock of crossing any lines, as NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly called it a “misconception” according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo.
Recent articles from David Quadrelli