NHL Notebook: NHLPA launches investigation into privacy allegations against Blue Jackets coach Mike Babcock and Canadiens goaltender Carey Price says NHL return ‘not going to happen’
Photo credit:Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY NETWORK
9 days ago
The NHL Players’ Association has launched an investigation into claims of a breach of privacy involving Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Mike Babcock.
In a recent podcast episode of Spittin’ Chiclets, retired NHL player Paul Bissonnette disclosed that a player had informed him about Babcock’s request to view photos on various players’ cell phones. Tuesday afternoon, Babcock and Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner both downplayed the allegations.
Babcock said that during meetings with players and staff, he asked members of the organization to share family pictures “as part of the process of getting to know them better.”
Jenner, meanwhile, supported Babcock’s claim saying the head coach “asked me about my family and where I’m from, my upcoming wedding and hockey-related stuff,” and he “thought it was a great first meeting and good way for us to start to build a relationship.”
Babcock’s coaching tenure spans four decades to the late 1980’s when he got his start with the ACAC’s Red Deer College. His first NHL job came with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and followed with the Detroit Red Wings winning a Stanley Cup with the latter club.
He joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as their head coach in 2015 where he was relieved of his duties four years later just 23 games into the 2019-20 season. Allegations later emerged regarding a toxic environment associated with Babcock, with several former players, including Johan Franzen, Chris Chelios, and Mike Commodore, voicing concerns.
Price addresses bleak playing future
Carey Price, the sidelined goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, addressed his future playing career during a news press conference held in Brossard, Quebec on Tuesday, firmly stating, “it’s simply not going to happen.”
While the press conference was held with Price being unveiled as a product sponsor for an off-road vehicle brand, questions naturally turned to hockey-related matters, including Price’s extended absence due to a lingering knee injury.
When asked about the possibility of returning to the crease, Price said “the honest thing is right now it’s just not going to happen, to take the stress of the goaltending position it’s not where it needs to be. So for now I’m just going to continue to try and rehab my knee to a position where it’s fit for life in general.”
Price initially underwent knee surgery in the 2021 offseason, but ongoing issues have persisted, leading to his absence for the majority of two seasons, including the entire 2022-23 campaign. It is anticipated that Price will once again be placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) for the upcoming season.
He remains under contract with the Canadiens for three more seasons, carrying a cap hit of $10.5-million.
Here’s more on the news from Daily Faceoff‘s Vasili Gianarakos:
When asked if he’d be open to his contract being traded away. Price also mentioned, “everyone knows hockey is a business- money management & cap space is part of that; I’m going to a MTL Canadien for the rest of my life & I’m very proud of that so I’m willing to help this team in any aspect.”Price is signed to a lucrative contract for three more years in Montreal which leaves question marks surrounding his future due to his injury status. The former top goaltender has played 712 regular season games exclusively with the Montreal Canadiens. Over that time, he has led Montreal to 361 wins, put up five seasons with a save percentage topping .920, posted 49 career shutouts, and taken home a Hart Trophy, a Vezina Trophy, a Ted Lindsay Award, a William M. Jennings Trophy, and a Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
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