3:08 PM: The Blue Jackets have now officially announced Babcock’s resignation. Assistant coach Pascal Vincent has been named the club’s new head coach, and has signed a two-year contract extension.
2:48 PM: According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Mike Babcock is expected to resign his position this afternoon.
Columbus officially named Babcock their head coach on July 1 after his previous contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who fired him in November of 2019, expired. This week, Babcock was the subject of a joint NHL/NHLPA investigation spurred by allegations that Babcock asked to view phones and/or photographs of several Blue Jackets players, originally reported by former NHL player Paul Bissonnette on a recent episode of the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast.
NHLPA officials met Friday after meeting with several Blue Jackets players and staff and said they “provided the NHL with an update on our ongoing review” in a statement released after the meeting. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports that the now-concluded NHLPA investigation “left no path for Babcock to continue as coach.” Friedman reported on an earlier edition of Sportsnet’s 32 Thoughts podcast last week that while veterans Boone Jenner and Johnny Gaudreau were comfortable with their exchanges with Babcock regarding the photo-sharing exercise, multiple younger players on the roster did not feel the same way.
The Blue Jackets have yet to release a statement. At the time of writing, it’s unclear what path the Blue Jackets will take to name an interim head coach with training camp starting this week.
By resigning, Babcock walks away from the remainder of a two-year contract that was set to pay him a total of $8MM.