This marks a swift change in direction for the franchise, changes that can be looked at from a variety of angles. Babcock is a polarizing figure with a terrific success record at nearly every level he’s coached – which signals that this team is ready to start winning soon, rather than later. It also marks the end of the “young/player’s coach” trial run, that lasted only two seasons under Brad Larsen.
Babcock is an imposing presence who will make an immediate impact to the locker room, which can be good or bad. He’s one of the biggest names in hockey’s coaching world – and in fact, when next season starts, he’ll kick off the year with the 12th most wins behind a bench in NHL history, with 700 under his belt.