Mike Babcock Jr. (born April 29, 1963 in Manitouwadge, Ontario, Canada , but was raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) is a National Hockey League hockey head coach and former player. He serves as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League alongside assistant coaches Paul MacLean and Brad McCrimmon.
Babcock is the third McGill player to coach an NHL team (Lester Patrick guided the N.Y. Rangers; George Burnett served in Edmonton) and in 2008, Babcock became the first McGill graduate to win the Stanley Cup. He was a two-time all-star rearguard at McGill from 1983–84 to 1986–87, where he also won the Bobby Bell trophy as team MVP.
He has had a distinguished coaching career and entered the 2007–08 season with a lifetime 602–449–107 regular season coaching record, including a 177–97–54 NHL mark in four seasons (two with Anaheim and two with Detroit). He also guided Team Canada to gold medals at the 1997 world junior championships in Geneva and the 2004 IIHF world hockey championships in Prague.
Detroit marks the seventh coaching stint for the nomadic Babcock, a native of Saskatoon who has lived in six Canadian provinces (Saskatchewan, Quebec, Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba) and four US states (Washington, Ohio, California and his current residence, Michigan).
In 1988, Babcock was appointed head coach at Red Deer College in Alberta. He spent three seasons at the school, winning the provincial collegiate championship and earning coach-of-the-year honours in 1989.
Babcock moved to the Western Hockey League in 1991 where he guided the Moose Jaw Warriors for a two-year term. He then served one season as bench boss of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, earning Canada West coach-of-the-year honours in 1993–94 after guiding Lethbridge to their first-ever appearance in post-season play and an entirely unexpected Canadian university national title with a 34–11–3 over-all mark.
In 1994, he was appointed coach of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, where he posted a regular-season record of 224–172–29 over six seasons for a .564 winning percentage. He was named twice as the West Division coach of the year (1995–96 and 1999–00).
From 2000–01 to 2001–02, Babcock guided the American Hockey League's Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, to a 74–59–20–7 record, including a franchise-high 41 wins and 95 points. The team qualified for the playoffs both years.
He was named head coach of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks (then the Mighty Ducks) on May 22, 2002, and through two seasons, guided them to a combined 69–62–19 regular season record (including 14 overtime losses). In the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Ducks, he posted a 15–6 record, leading the Ducks to the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals where they lost in 7 games to the New Jersey Devils.
Following the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Babcock declined an offer to remain with the Ducks, and on July 15, 2005, was named head coach of the Detroit Red Wings. In three seasons, Babcock has led the Red Wings to a combined 162–56–28 regular season record and a 28–18 playoff record. Babcock and the Red Wings were eliminated by his former club, the Anaheim Ducks, in the Western Conference Finals of the 2006–07 playoffs.
In the 2007–08 NHL season, while coaching the Detroit Red Wings, Babcock achieved his 200th NHL career win. This was on December 15 against the Florida Panthers, with a 5–2 final score. Heading into the All-Star game, as the top team in the league, Detroit's Babcock was selected to coach the Western Conference in the All-Star game. On June 4, 2008 Mike led the Detroit Red Wings to another Stanley Cup championship by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.
He was announced as a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy for the 2007–2008 season, awarded to the coach who best contributes to his team's success but finished third behind Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals and Guy Carbonneau of the Montreal Canadiens.
|1991–92||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL||33||36||3||6th East||Lost East Division quarter-final|
|1992–93||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL||27||42||3||8th East||Out of playoffs|
|1994–95||Spokane Chiefs||WHL||32||36||4||5th West||Lost West Division semi-final|
|1995–96||Spokane Chiefs||WHL||50||18||4||1st West||Lost WHL finals|
|1996–97||Spokane Chiefs||WHL||35||33||4||3rd West||Lost West Division semi-final|
|1997–98||Spokane Chiefs||WHL||45||23||4||2nd West||Lost West Division final|
|1998–99||Spokane Chiefs||WHL||19||44||9||7th West||Out of playoffs|
|1999–00||Spokane Chiefs||WHL||47||19||6||1st West||Lost WHL finals|
|2000–01||Cincinnati Mighty Ducks||AHL||41||26||13||2nd South||Lost in first round|
|2001–02||Cincinnati Mighty Ducks||AHL||33||33||14||3rd Central||Lost in preliminary round|
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||2002–03||82||40||27||9||6||95||2nd in Pacific||Lost in Stanley Cup Finals|
|2003–04||82||29||35||10||8||76||4th in Pacific||Missed Playoffs|
|Detroit Red Wings||2005–06||82||58||16||-||8||124||1st in Central||Lost in First Round|
|2006–07||82||50||19||-||13||113||1st in Central||Lost in Conference Finals|
|2007–08||82||54||21||-||7||115||1st in Central||Won Stanley Cup|