Hey, we won a thing!
Okay, we didn’t win it, but Mike Babcock did.
Today, it was announced that Babcock would be named to the Order of Hockey in Canada award, alongside three-time Olympic Gold medallist Danielle Goyette, and former Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders and Los Angeles Kings forward Ryan Smyth.
Created in 2012, the award symbolizes excellence in hockey in Canada, and has previously been awarded 21 times.
From the Hockey Canada release about Babcock, which you can read here:
His NHL accomplishments are well-documented, and include winning the Stanley Cup in 2008, and the Presidents’ Trophy in 2005-06 and 2007-08 with the Detroit Red Wings. A three-time finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year, Babcock has been the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs since 2015. Throughout his coaching career, which has spanned collegiate sports as well as the CHL, AHL, and NHL, Babcock has always answered the call when presented with an opportunity to be part of Team Canada. He’s the only coach in the IIHF Triple Gold Club – having won Olympic and IIHF World Championship gold as well as a Stanley Cup – to which he can add IIHF World Junior Championship gold and a title win at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
The award is mostly symbolic, but it’s hard to deny the impact Babcock has had at every level he’s coached at.
Oddly, the move comes at a time where much of the fanbase is dissatisfied with some of Babcock’s of late, to say the least. Confusing lineup decisions and a roster that appears to be performing below its capabilities offensively have lead to notable vocal displeasure for the first time in his tenure in Toronto.
Unconfirmed sources say that Babcock said Hockey Canada was doing a “real good job.”