Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland responds to criticism of Babcock

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Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland said he knew some players in Detroit didn’t like former head coach Mike Babcock, but added he wasn’t aware of every detail of Babcock’s relationship with some players.

“When you have a 23-man roster, when I was in Detroit with Mike Babcock, there was some players in that locker room that didn’t like the coach. There was some players in that locker room that didn’t really have feelings either way.

“I know there was some players in that locker room that thought he was the best coach they ever played for,” said Holland.

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Former Red Wing Johan Franzen recently said he was verbally assaulted by Babcock on the bench. The allegations were backed up by another former Red Wing, Chris Chelios.

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“Am I aware that there was some unhappiness? Yeah,” said Holland. “But some stuff I’m not aware of.”

Holland was the GM of the Wings from 1998 until the spring of 2019. Babcock coached the Wings from 2005 to 2015.

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“We had ten years. He comes to work, he works hard everyday. He was a tremendous coach,” said Holland. “Over the course of ten years, are you going to have some people who are unhappy? Yeah. There’s that fine line between trying to push people, to make us better individually, to make us better as a group. I think the most important thing is respect.”

“I know how I wanted to be treated as a player when I was in this league. Just treat me [with] respect. I’ve had the same feeling as a coach,” said Oilers head coach Dave Tippett.
Click to play video: 'Ken Holland asked about Mike Babcock allegations' Ken Holland asked about Mike Babcock allegations
Ken Holland asked about Mike Babcock allegations – Dec 4, 2019

The Oilers open a four-game homestand Wednesday night against the Ottawa Senators. The game is on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6 p.m. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.


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