|Last season, Babcock became just the third coach in NHL history to win 300 games over a six-season span, joining Scotty Bowman and Glen Sather. Under his watch, the Red Wings have twice captured the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s regular-season champion. In 2005-06, Detroit finished with a league-best 58 wins and 124 points, including an NHL record 31 road victories. The Red Wings again topped the league standings in 2007-08 with 54 wins and 115 points, and captured the Jennings Trophy allowing the fewest goals against. Those win totals (58, 54) represent the second and third-highest respectively in franchise history. From 2006-09, Babcock became the first coach in NHL history to guide his team to 50-wins in each of his first four seasons with a team. He served as head coach of the Western Conference at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game after leading the Red Wings to a conference-best 30-8-3 first-half record. The 30-wins marked the best first half win total in team history. He also served as an assistant coach at the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal. Last season, Babcock guided the club to its 11th consecutive 100-point season, extending Detroit’s NHL record. The Saskatoon, SK, native was a finalist for the 2008 Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year and was the winner of the Sporting News’ 2008 NHL Coach of the Year, as voted on by his peers. He was named the NHL’s Coach of the Decade (2000-09) by both the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.com. His overall record through eight seasons is 373-188-95, giving him more regular-season wins than any other head coach since 2002-03, his first season in the NHL.
|Babcock’s postseason success is equally impressive. He guided the Red Wings to the 2008 Stanley Cup in just his third season with the team, securing his first NHL title and the 11th in team history. Babcock has coached in 113 postseason games since 2003, 41 more than any other coach during that span. He ranks ninth all-time with 70 postseason wins and is tied with Glen Sather for most playoff wins by a head coach through their first eight NHL seasons. Babcock has led his teams to the Stanley Cup Final three times and the conference finals four times.
Prior to joining the Red Wings, Babcock spent two seasons with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (2002-04), where in his first season as head coach he led the Ducks to their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. With four straight wins over Detroit in the first round of the 2003 playoffs, the Ducks became the first team to sweep a defending Stanley Cup champion since 1952 when the Red Wings swept the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In 2002-03, Babcock led Anaheim to a then franchise-best 40 wins and 95 points (40-27-9-6). Anaheim was the most improved team in the NHL that season, finishing 26 points ahead of their 2001-02 total. The Ducks also set club records for lowest goals-against average (2.32) and fewest goals allowed (193).
Prior to stepping behind the bench in Anaheim, Babcock spent two seasons as head coach of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (2000-02), at the time the primary American Hockey League affiliate of Detroit and Anaheim. He led the club to a combined 74-59-20-7 record, including a franchise-best 41 wins and 95 points (41-26-9-4) in 2000-01. Cincinnati qualified for the Calder Cup playoffs both seasons under his direction.
Babcock moved to Cincinnati following a successful six-year run as the head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (1994-95 through 1999-2000). He compiled a regular season record of 228-173-29 in Spokane. He was twice named WHL Coach of the Year (1996 and 2000) and was selected as head coach of the 2000 WHL West Division All-Star Team.
In 1993-94, his only season with the Lethbridge Pronghorns of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), Babcock guided his team to a national championship winning the CIS University Cup and was named CIS Coach of the Year.
Babcock, 48, has also represented his native Canada at several international competitions. In 1997, he earned the honor of coaching Team Canada at the World Junior Championships in Switzerland. Under his guidance, Canada secured gold with a 2-0 win over the United States in the championship game. In 2004, he led Team Canada to a gold medal at the World Championships in Prague as the Canadians posted a 7-1-1 overall record and defeated Sweden 5-3 in the tournament final. He became the first Canadian coach to serve as bench boss for both the World Junior and World Championship teams. Babcock recently led Canada to a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and became the first coach to win all three components of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Triple Gold Club (World Championships, Olympics and Stanley Cup).
Away from the rink, Babcock is involved in several charitable causes. Most notably, he serves as a spokesman for the Jeffrey Thomas Hayden Foundation which was created to increase awareness about pediatric brain tumors and provide education and support to affected families. The JTHF was started by Tim and Cindy Hayden after losing their 12-year-old son Jeffrey to a brain tumor in September 2004. A passionate supporter in the fight against pediatric cancer, Babcock hosts a child battling the disease at every Red Wings home game.
Mike and his wife, Maureen, reside in Northville with their three children, Allie, Michael and Taylor.