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Michael "Mike" Babcock, Jr. (born April 29, 1963 ) is a Canadianmarker professional ice hockey head coach of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL) and former player. He serves as head coach of the Red Wings alongside assistant coaches Paul MacLean and Brad McCrimmon.

Playing and coaching career

Before his playing days at McGill Universitymarker (where he was captain), Babcock played for the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL in 1980–81 and spent a season with the Kelowna Wings in 1982–83. In between, he played a year under Dave King at the University of Saskatchewanmarker and transferred to McGill in 1983 under coach Ken Tyler. Babcock also had a brief try-out with the Vancouver Canucks.

Babcock graduated from McGill in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and also did some post-graduate work in sports psychology. In 146 career games with the Redmen, he tallied 22 goals and 85 assists for a total of 107 points and 301 penalty minutes, graduating as the second-highest scoring defenseman in McGill history. He moved to England in 1987 as a player-coach for Whitley Warriors (near Newcastle upon Tyne), who missed out on the league title by two points. In 49 games, he contributed 45 goals and 127 assists, accumulating 123 penalty minutes.

Coaching career

Babcock is the third McGill player to coach an NHL team (Lester Patrick guided the New York Rangers; George Burnett served in Edmonton) and in 2008, Babcock became the first McGill graduate to win the Stanley Cup. He was a two-time all-star rearguard at McGill from 1983–84 to 1986–87, where he also won the Bobby Bell trophy as team MVP.

He has had a distinguished coaching career and entered the 2008–09 season with a lifetime 656–470–114 regular season coaching record in 15 seasons overall, including a 231–118–61 NHL mark in five seasons (two with Anaheim and three with Detroit). He also guided Team Canada to gold medals at the 1997 world junior championships in Geneva and the 2004 IIHF world hockey championships in Prague.

Detroit marks the seventh coaching stint for the nomadic Babcock, a native of Saskatoon who has lived in six Canadian provinces (Saskatchewanmarker, Quebecmarker, Albertamarker, Ontariomarker, British Columbiamarker, Manitobamarker) and four US states (Washingtonmarker, Ohiomarker, Californiamarker and his current residence, Michiganmarker).

In 1988, Babcock was appointed head coach at Red Deer Collegemarker in Alberta. He spent three seasons at the school, winning the provincial collegiate championship and earning coach-of-the-year honours in 1989.

Babcock moved to the Western Hockey League in 1991 where he guided the Moose Jaw Warriors for a two-year term. He then served one season as bench boss of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, earning Canada West coach-of-the-year honours in 1993–94 after guiding Lethbridge to their first-ever appearance in post-season play and an entirely unexpected Canadian university national title with a 34–11–3 over-all mark.

In 1994, he was appointed coach of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, where he posted a regular-season record of 224–172–29 over six seasons for a .564 winning percentage. He was named twice as the West Division coach of the year (1995–96 and 1999–00).

From 2000–01 to 2001–02, Babcock guided the American Hockey League's Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, to a 74–59–20–7 record, including a franchise-high 41 wins and 95 points. The team qualified for the playoffs both years.


He was named head coach of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks (then the Mighty Ducks) on May 22, 2002, and through two seasons, guided them to a combined 69–62–19 regular season record (including 14 overtime losses). In the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Ducks, he posted a 15–6 record, leading the Ducks to the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals where they lost in 7 games to the New Jersey Devils. (All seven games in the series were won by the home team).

Following the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Babcock declined an offer to remain with the Ducks, and on July 15, 2005, was named head coach of the Detroit Red Wings. In three seasons, Babcock has led the Red Wings to a combined 162–56–28 regular season record and a 28–18 playoff record. Babcock and the Red Wings were eliminated by his former club, the Anaheim Ducks, in the Western Conference Finals of the 2006–07 playoffs.

In the 2007–08 NHL season, while coaching the Detroit Red Wings, Babcock achieved his 200th NHL career win. This was on December 15 against the Florida Panthers, with a 5–2 final score. Heading into the All-Star game, as the top team in the league, Detroit's Babcock was selected to coach the Western Conference in the All-Star game. On June 4, 2008 Mike led the Detroit Red Wings to another Stanley Cup championship by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.

He was announced as a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy for the 2007–2008 season, awarded to the coach who best contributes to his team's success but finished third behind Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals and Guy Carbonneau of the Montreal Canadiens.

In June 2008, Babcock signed a three-year contract extension with the Red Wings. In 2009, he became the second head coach (after Mike Keenan) to coach a Stanley Cup Final Game 7 with two different teams. With the Red Wings loss in Game 7, Babcock became the first head coach to lose a Stanley Cup Final Game 7 with two different teams, an unfortunate fate that Keenan avoided, though he was with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1987, as he was with the New York Rangers in 1994.

On June 24, 2009, he was announced head coach of the Canada men's national ice hockey team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouvermarker.

Thus far into his coaching career he has accumulated a playoff record of 59-30.


Mike and Maureen Babcock have three children: Alexandra, Michael, and Taylor. Although he was born in Manitouwadge, Ontariomarker, he grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewanmarker which most media guides incorrectly state as his birthplace. He spent the majority of his childhood moving around between Northern Ontario, Manitobamarker and the Northwest Territoriesmarker before his family settled in Saskatoon, which he addresses as his hometown. Babcock's family didn't establish their roots in the city until 1975. Babcock attended both St. James Elementary Schoolmarker (since closed) and Holy Cross High School on Saskatoon's east side.

Coaching career statistics

Minor league

Year Team League W L OT/T Finish Playoffs
1991–92 Moose Jaw Warriors WHL 33 36 3 6th East Lost East Division quarter-final
1992–93 Moose Jaw Warriors WHL 27 42 3 8th East Out of playoffs
1994–95 Spokane Chiefs WHL 32 36 4 5th West Lost West Division semi-final
1995–96 Spokane Chiefs WHL 50 18 4 1st West Lost WHL finals
1996–97 Spokane Chiefs WHL 35 33 4 3rd West Lost West Division semi-final
1997–98 Spokane Chiefs WHL 45 23 4 2nd West Lost West Division final
1998–99 Spokane Chiefs WHL 19 44 9 7th West Out of playoffs
1999–00 Spokane Chiefs WHL 47 19 6 1st West Lost WHL finals
2000–01 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 41 26 13 2nd South Lost in first round
2001–02 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 33 33 14 3rd Central Lost in preliminary round

Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Division rank Result
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 2002–03 82 40 27 9 6 95 2nd in Pacific Lost in Stanley Cup Finals
2003–04 82 29 35 10 8 76 4th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Detroit Red Wings 2005–06 82 58 16 - 8 124 1st in Central Lost in First Round
2006–07 82 50 19 - 13 113 1st in Central Lost in Conference Finals
2007–08 82 54 21 - 7 115 1st in Central Won Stanley Cup
2008–09 82 51 21 - 10 112 1st in Central Lost in Stanley Cup Finals
Total 492 282 139 19 54


See also

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