It appears as if Mike Babcock has found his next head coaching job but it won’t be in the NHL or the professional ranks at all, for that matter. Instead, the veteran bench boss has been named the head coach of the University of Saskatchewan in Canada’s college ranks, per a release from the school. He received a two-year deal on a volunteer basis.
Babcock has been looking for a new coaching opportunity since being fired by Toronto midway through last season with Sheldon Keefe taking over and had been doing some television work for NBC this season. Now, it’s a return back to his roots as Babcock is from Saskatoon, played for the school back in 1981-82, and received an honorary degree from them back in 2016.
The 57-year-old is one of only eight head coaches in NHL history to record 700 career wins and has spent parts of 17 seasons behind the bench. He’s also quite decorated internationally and is the only member of the ’Triple Gold’ club among coaches (Olympics, World Championships, and a Stanley Cup). However, he didn’t receive any serious consideration for the vacancies that existed over the offseason. He’s still receiving his full $5.875MM salary from Toronto until his contract with them runs out following the 2022-23 season (the same time this contract ends) and now will be able to work closer to home for the time being although Babcock will have to wait for next season to start as the U SPORTS season was cancelled back in October.
TSN’s Darren Dreger was the first to report the hiring.