The NHLPA is investigating Coach Mike Babcock’s unconventional strategy of having players reveal their private lives in the locker room

An NHL coach's unorthodox method of bonding with players raises questions among the fans.

The NHLPA is investigating Coach Mike Babcock’s unconventional strategy of having players reveal their private lives in the locker room

Mike Babcock (Image via Imago)

The bond between coaches and athletes is sometimes complicated in the realm of professional sports. The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) has recently focused on Mike Babcock. He is the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets and has sparked a discussion concerning the parameters and dynamics of the coach-player relationship.

On his podcast, former player Paul Bissonnette raised this matter and revealed a peculiar custom carried out in the Blue Jackets locker room. Along with team captain Boone Jenner and winger Johnny Gaudreau, Babcock acknowledged partaking in an odd custom: sharing private images with teammates. While some may see this as an invasion of privacy, Babcock and the engaged players maintain that it was an effort to promote a closer bond between coach and player.


Gaudreau remarked, “I believe the strategy he used was getting to know each other personally. He was shown images of my kid, my dog, my parents, my mum and dad, me playing baseball in the summer, and my late grandma, who died away two months ago.”

Despite the apparent good intentions, the NHLPA is looking into this issue and conducting a careful investigation. After meeting with the Blue Jackets players to address the issue, Marty Walsh, the NHLPA’s new executive director, gave an update to NHL officials.

This study was prompted by earlier accounts of Babcock’s contentious coaching techniques. Those raised concerns about whether the practice exceeded the line or was just an innovative strategy for fostering camaraderie and trust among the squad.


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NHLPA investigates coach Mike Babcock’s interactions with Blue Jackets Players

Mike Babcock
Mike Babcock (Image via Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Mike Babcock has seen his fair share of coaching scandals throughout the course of his illustrious coaching career. He asserts that during his time as a head coach, he has grown as a person and improved his communication skills with players.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that even though some players may have had misgivings about the photo-sharing activity, others have expressed appreciation for their encounters with Babcock. They appreciated being able to interact personally and exchange family photographs, which brought to light the complexities of coaching relationships in the NHL.


The continuing debate regarding proper limits in the professional sports industry is brought to the forefront by the NHLPA’s investigation into Coach Mike Babcock’s dealings with Blue Jackets players. Some see this practice as a novel method to foster teamwork and friendship.

On the other hand, many are concerned about possible privacy invasions. It will be interesting to watch if this unique teaching style has any lasting effects or whether it leads to a more thorough review of coaching methods in the NHL.

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