Monday, December 05, 2005

ANALYZING RED WINGS COACH MIKE BABCOCK

Mike Babcock Became the first Canadian coach to win gold medals for the world junior championship team (1997) and the IIHF world championship team (2004). Under him, the Mighty Ducks became the first NHL team since 1952 to sweep a defending champion in the playoffs in 2003. The 42-year-old Babcock from star player in England became a coaching sensation in North America. The only credit that has dodged him is the most prized piece, the Stanley Cup. There are lots of challenges for the coaches to meet and every team needs energy and because of the Olympic break, they have a mandatory schedule to follow every second day. For a coach, that's a challenge and that too after knowing the salary cap means he has to help develop stars, you can't just trade for talent. For Babcock it's all about doing what works best. He tries to create an environment of responsibility. And when he has been given the tab as being a defensive coach he has much more to give. Manny Legace has emerged as his No. 1 goalie, but Babcock is uncertain about his performance.

Babcock is already 42 and he is coaching players in his peer group like Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios, who is actually older than you. According to him they are the on-ice heroes. Everybody in life needs leadership and quite simply the guys who play the best, play the most. After playing major junior and college hockey in Canada he played professionally in England for one season and accumulated 132 points in 36 games (Voila! Gretzky-like numbers)

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