Mike Babcock, a former Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings coach, is the new Columbus Blue Jackets head coach, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Also according to the TSN informant, the official announcement is long overdue since Babcock’s eight-year contract with the Queen City team will expire at the end of June. The Sportsnet network also reported the news.

Babcock has not coached an NHL roster since being fired by the Maple Leafs in November 2019. Since his dismissal, several former players have complained of inappropriate and abusive behavior on his part, including Johan Franzen and Mike Commodore.

The Toronto Sun also reported a story that the 60-year-old asked Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner, then a rookie, to rank his teammates by their hard work. He would then have posted the ranking in the locker room.

Babcock, who coached Canada to two Olympic titles and led the Detroit Red Wings to the Stanley Cup, then volunteered to coach the University of Saskatchewan Huskies for a season. Since August 2022, he has been unemployed and, in theory, retired.

The former Anaheim Ducks pilot was behind the bench for an NHL club for a total of 1,301 games. He won 700 during this stay spread over 17 seasons.

He would take over from Brad Larsen, who was fired on April 15 after a disappointing season with the Ohio squad. The Jackets finished last in the Eastern Conference with a 25-48-9 record and will have the third selection in the next draft.