In a few words, Mike Babcock took himself out of the conversation for NHL coach of the year honours.
The longtime Detroit Red Wings bench boss told Hockey Night in Canada Radio on Wednesday that the man who leads his team to a Stanley Cup championship should be the recipient of the Jack Adams Award.
“You don’t need any voting,” Babcock told HNIC Radio host Rob Pizzo and co-host Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada. “If you can make your team grind for two months in the spring [during the Stanley Cup playoffs], you’re the coach of the year.”
Babcock is a Jack Adams Award finalist along with Colorado's Patrick Roy and Tampa Bay's Jon Cooper.
The Red Wings, despite a franchise-record 421 man games lost to injury, qualified for the post-season for a 23rd consecutive year, squeezing into eighth and final playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference with a 39-28-15 record.
And they did it with star forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on in the injured list for extended periods. Nine Red Wings made their NHL debuts this season and Babcock iced 38 players in all.
“This year was a ton of fun,” Babcock said. “We had tons of kids who were willing to do what you asked them to do and in the end they were good enough to get us in the playoffs. But we weren’t good enough to keep playing.”
Click above to listen to the full interview.
Rob Pizzo and co-hosts Elliotte Friedman, Kelly Hrudey, Craig Simpson, Tim Wharnsby and Cassie Campbell-Pascall discuss the game of hockey in an entertaining way on Hockey Night in Canada Radio, the flagship of NHL Network radio on SiriusXM. Weekdays from 3-5pm ET on Sirius 207 and XM 211.