Johan Franzen is the latest NHL player to speak out about his experiences with former head coach Mike Babcock.
In a scathing interview with Swedish media outlet Expressen, the former Red Wing forward accused Babcock of being a “bully,” who was “attacking people.” Franzen said in the interview that from 2011 on, he was terrified of being at the rink. This, unfortunately, isn't the most recent allegations of this conduct from Mike Babcock.
Last month, Mitch Marner confirmed a report about Babcock making him list his hardest-working teammates, a list that was then shared with his teammates without knowledge — a report that raised a lot of questions about Babcock’s pattern of abusive coaching.
Back to Detroit, and further digging into Franzen’s interview, by the way he’s speaking, it would seem Babcock allegedly took part in emotional abuse to Franzen. “It was just his attacks, playing in my head. Each and every day.” The entirety of the interview was not a hit-piece in its entirety — Franzen described Babcock as being an effective coach in some areas.
“As a coach he is extremely thorough and prepared. He is great at putting together systems and to get everyone to buy in. That is his strong suit,” Franzen said.
The Detroit Free Press reports that former general manager Ken Holland has never been alerted to inappropriate conduct from Mike Babcock.
Whichever way you look at it, there is a growing list of damning evidence that Mike Babcock was an abusive coach in both stints in Detroit, and Toronto. Could this be the tip of the iceberg? Probably, but it does really make me re-think all of the so-called “Swedish Mafia” stories that we saw years ago, and not to mention Mike Commodore’s history with Babcock.