Mike Babcock is coming to a television set near you. Well, if you watch hockey on NBC or its cable partners.
The former coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs has accepted a job as colour commentator for NBC Sports.
Babcock, who won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2008, will be an in-studio commentator along with Dominic Moore, who played for him with the Leafs, and 13-year NHL veteran Ryan Callahan.
Moore was frequently scratched by Babcock in the 2017-18 season, his last of 13 years in the NHL.
Babcock was fired by the Maple Leafs on Nov. 20, 2019.
“When I first started doing the NHL in 2006, (analyst) Pierre (McGuire) and I would go to Mike’s office before the many Detroit games we would produce,” NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood told NHL.com. “We would sit in that little office of his and have conversations about hockey and about life. He was a fascinating and insightful man and I think he’ll be a great addition to the team.”
Flood said Babcock had wanted to do this in the playoffs.
“Mike reached out to us through representation during the playoffs last year and originally we were going to bring him in during the playoffs but, because of COVID protocols and how tight we had the building sealed up, we decided to wait until this year,” Flood said. “We let it rest for a while and then started the dialogue again and quickly came to an agreement. Mike will be in and ready to go.”
On the outs is Mike Milbury. The former player, coach and executive had been with NBC for 14 years, but was called out for sexist comments during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The NHL called the comments “insensitive and insulting.” Milbury apologized. But he was off the broadcast, and now he’s off for good.
With the retirement of play-by-play announcer Mike (Doc) Emrick, NBC announced Kenny Albert, Brendan Burke and John Forslund would take over. They’ll be joined by in-game analysts McGuire, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher, AJ Mleczko and Kendall Coyne Schofield.
Kathryn Tappen and Liam McHugh return as studio hosts. Keith Jones, Anson Carter and Patrick Sharp also return for in-studio commentary.
And a couple TV personalities well-known to TSN viewers — Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger — will continue on Wednesday broadcasts as “Insiders.”