Former Detroit Cornfield forward Darren McCarthy told the Detroit Free Press on Friday that Mike Babcock’s intense training style was the reason why the team lost Stanley Cup in 2009.
McCarty, 47, played 13 of the NHL’s 15 seasons with Detroit, first with coaches Scotty Bowman and Dave Lewis from 1993-2004 at a time when the Red Wings have won three championships. Babcock was introduced as the team’s coach when the NHL returned from its 2004-05 lockdown, when McCarty entered the Calgary Flames.
He returned to his old team for the 2007-08 season – and in an article published Saturday morning, McCarty told the newspaper that he found things had changed under Babcock’s command.
“And our dressing room worked in different ways, and when I came back, you could tell things were different,” McCarty told Free Press. “But the thing that didn’t change was that the guys were playing each other.”
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Still one of the league’s most talented leagues in 2007-08, the Red Wings beat Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby to win the 2008 Stanley Cup Final. races. McCarty said Detroit played well “despite” Babcock’s behavior during those times and missed the opportunity to get the Cup in back-to-back playoff runs because of his coaching.
“That’s the key, in spite of himself, right?” And I learned that we get more in ’09 because we won in ’08 than we did in ’09 and lost in ’09 because of him. That’s exactly why he abused (Pavel) Datsyuk , (Henrik) Zetterberg just because he is stubborn and that was his way. “
Babcock, who coached the Red Wings for 10 seasons until leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs bench, has come under fire for how he has treated players in the weeks since his dismissal from the Leafs – mainly from the former. Red Wings Chris Helios and Johan Franzen, both of whom said Babcock verbally challenged Franzen during the 2012 playoff game. McCarty echoed those sentiments, telling the Free Press that Babcock was one great coach but a tough guy.
“Preparation, X’s and O’s, practice, as men say, there is no better one,” McCarty said. “It’s incredible, though, the ego and the lack of respect for people, and it’s not just Johan Franzens and Chris Chelioses, it doesn’t matter who you are, it’s a personal thing, so he can be the one who changes the trash and doesn’t it changes right or whatever . So all these things that happened with Mule, it doesn’t surprise me because I could see what it was like to be human. “
McCarty said he could “see what had begun” with the Red Wings culture under Babcock when he returned to the team for his final two seasons before retiring in December 2009 and added that he was “gradually growing”.
“That’s all it is and has been and imagined and imagined and taken control and disobedience gone out of control and now you’re in 2019 with everyone else saying things,” McCarty said. “I can see how we got here because it was never tackled. And this is the sport.”
A Burnaby, BC, native said that Fransen called Babcock “the worst person he ever met” in an interview with the Swedish Expressen Post on December 2 and said the unemployed coach was “up there on my list”. he and Babcock did well.
“We have a serious ‘Me Too’ hockey conversation, and that’s different,” he told Free Press. “But it’s about respect, and the bottom line is kind and it’s not (jerk). And (Babcock) can’t do either as an individual.”