Sports Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios says Mike Babcock was 'verbally assaulting' Detroit Red Wings' Johan Franzen
Johan Franzen: Mike Babcock is 'the worst person I have ever met'
Former Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen told Swedish publication Expressen on Monday that ex-Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock is "the worst person I have ever met," as translated by the outlet. On a recent episode of the Spittin Chiclets podcast, Franzen's former teammate Chris Chelios said Babcock "verbally assaulted" Franzen during the 2012 playoffs while serving as bench boss in Detroit, causing him to have a "nervousOn a recent episode of the Spittin Chiclets podcast, Franzen's former teammate Chris Chelios said Babcock "verbally assaulted" Franzen during the 2012 playoffs while serving as bench boss in Detroit, causing him to have a "nervous breakdown.
The days since the Toronto Maple Leafs fired head coach Mike Babcock have beenand abuse against him and now-former Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters. On Tuesday, a Hockey Hall of Famer levied new accusations against Babcock that stem from their time together with the Detroit Red Wings.
Chris Chelios — who played 26 seasons in the NHL —on Monday that Mike Babcock verbally assaulted former Red Wings forward Johan Franzen to the point that Franzen had a nervous breakdown.
“Yeah, that would be an easy one. It would be Johan Franzen," Chelioswhen podcast co-host Bissonette asked him if Babcock's coaching style ever put players in a poor mental state.
McCarty: Red Wings won Stanley Cup in 2008 'in spite of' Babcock
Former Detroit Red Wings forward Darren McCarty believes Mike Babcock cost the club a championship in the 2009 Stanley Cup Final and was anything but the reason Detroit won it all one year prior. "Our (dressing) room worked in different ways and when I came back you could tell that things were different, but the thing that didn't change was that guys played for each other," McCarty told Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. "That's the key. In spite of him, right? In spite of him," McCarty added. "And I learned that more getting into '09 because we won in '08 in spite of him and lost in '09 because of him.
"What [Babcock] did to him at the end, he was hurt at the time, it was the playoffs I think we lost to [the Nashville Predators], we got upset with Nashville. Some of the things [Babcock said to Franzen] on the bench, I don’t know what he said to him behind closed doors one-on-one, but he blatantly verbally assaulted him during the game on the bench.”
Franzen, 39, remains under contract with Detroit through 2019-20 but has not played in the NHL since October 2015 due to lingering problems from post-concussion syndrome. He revealed in a December 2018 interview that he, anxiety and panic attacks and said he was after stepping away from hockey.
“It got to the point where poor Johan, no one really knowing he was suffering with the concussion thing and the depression thing, he just broke down and had a nervous breakdown," Chelios added. "Not only on the bench but after the game in one of the rooms in Nashville. That was probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
Kadri: Babcock a good coach but 'sometimes his methods weren't the greatest'
Nazem Kadri acknowledges Mike Babcock's behavior wasn't always ideal. The Colorado Avalanche forward didn't say no when asked if some of his former bench boss' tactics to get the best out of players crossed a line. "Sometimes," Kadri told the assembled media, including Sportsnet, after Colorado's morning skate in Toronto ahead of the center's highly anticipated return. "I think Babs is a good coach. I just sometimes his methods, I think, weren't the greatest. That's just the fine line between players and coaches.
Below is an excerpt of Chelios' interview with Spittin Chiclets released on Dec. 2.
Babcock verbally assaulted Johan Franzen on the bench, causing Franzen a nervous break down— Peter Andrianopoulos (@peterandri)
Chelios and Franzen played together on the Red Wings from 2005-09, but heas a front office executive and assistant coach for the remainder of Franzen's NHL career. The Red Wings moved from the Western Conference to the East in , suggesting this particular incident between Babcock and Franzen happened during one of two Nashville-Detroit playoff series in either 2008 or 2012.
According to Chelios, no veterans on the team — which included Red Wings legends Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg — confronted Babcock about this behavior and that when general manager Ken Holland was alerted of the incident, he stood behind his head coach.
"Guys talked, obviously, amongst each other," Chelios said on the podcast. "But when something did happen and there was some second-guessing and it got to Kenny Holland, Kenny Holland came down to the room and had this speech and supported Mike Babcock. It was a great speech, but [it was to tell everybody] in the room that if you don’t like it, you could be traded. ‘Come up and see me, you can be traded.’ So that was kind of the way that ended.”
The podcasters — Barstool Sports blogger Rear Admiral and former NHLers Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette — said that Chelios reached out to them in the wake of Babcock's firing.
Duclair scores twice, leads Senators over Red Wings 4-3 .
DETROIT — Anthony Duclair had two goals and an assist, and the Ottawa Senators held on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 Tuesday night. John Gabriel Pageau and Brady Tkachuk also scored for Ottawa. Anders Nilsson made 35 saves, including 15 in the third period when the Senators were outshot 16-3. Valtteri Filppula had a goal and an assist, and Robby Fabbri and Anthony Mantha scored for Detroit, which ended a five-game point streak (3-0-2). Defenceman Filip Hronek had two assists and Jonathan Bernier stopped 29 shots.Mantha scored with 2:46 left and Bernier pulled for the extra attacker to make it 4-3. It was his 12th goal.