Mike Babcock (B.Ed. (Physical Education) 1986) 25th NHL coach to reach 1,000 game milestone

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MONTREAL – When Mike Babcock (B.Ed. (Physical Education) 1986) steps behind the bench on Thursday for Toronto's home game against the New Jersey Devils, he will become the 25th coach in National Hockey League history to reach the 1,000 plateau for regular season games coached.

The 52-year-old native of Manitouwadge, Ont., who was raised in Saskatoon, Sask., is in his 13th season as a bench boss in the NHL and will be tied with Roger Neilson and Dave Tippett who completed their NHL coaching careers with exactly 1,000 contests under their belts. Next in line is Jacques Demers, who sits at the No.22 spot with 1,007 games coached. The NHL's all-time leader is Scotty Bowman, who coached 2,141 regular season contests in 30 years behind the bench.

Babcock was the second-fastest coach in NHL history to reach 500 wins -- trailing only Bowman -- and is one of 22 coaches to have won 500 NHL games. He owns six championship rings and his combined lifetime coaching record, at all levels, stands at 1,138-767-203 (.588) in 2,108 games overall, including playoffs, the AHL, IIHF, WHL, CIAU and CCAA.

He officially began his coaching career in 1988 with Red Deer College of the CCAA, shortly after graduating from McGill University in 1986 with a bachelor of education, where he patrolled the blueline for the Redmen from 1983 to 1986. He also received an honorary doctorate from McGill in 2013. 

Babcock captured his first championship ring with the University of Lethbridge at the 1994 CIAU (now known as CIS) University Cup tournament.

In international play, Babcock has represented Canada at several competitions. He became the only coach in hockey history to lead his country to gold in consecutive Olympic appearances after guiding Canada in Vancouver (2010) and Sochi (2014). He led Canada to a gold medal at the 2004 world championships. In 1997, he took part in his first international coaching experience at the IIHF world junior championships as Canada also captured gold. Babcock is the only coach in the so-called 'Triple Gold Club,' an exclusive group of individuals who have captured the three most prestigious championships in hockey (a world championship, an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup).

SEE BABCOCK'S ACCEPTENCE SPEECH AFTER RECEIVING HON. DOCTORATE FROM McGILL

A thumbnail look at the career of Mike Babcock, who will reach the 1,000 coaching milestone on Thursday (Feb. 4/16):

1986 -- Graduated with a degree in physical education from McGill University, where he played defence and served as captain of the hockey team. He also did some post-graduate work in sports psychology at McGill.

1987-88 -- Served as player-coach of the Whitley Bay Warriors of the British Premier League. He had 34 goals and 132 points in 36 games; the Warriors finished two points out of first place.

1988-91 -- Coached at Red Deer College. His team won the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championship in 1989, and he was named ACAC coach of the year.

1991-93 -- Coached the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League. His teams went 60-78-6 in two seasons; they lost in the first round of the WHL playoffs in 1992 and didn't qualify in 1993.

1993-94 -- Spent one season coaching the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. He led the team to the CIS University Cup and was the Canada West Universities Athletic Association coach of the year.

1994-2000 -- Coached the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. Babcock was named WHL coach of the year in 1996 and 2000 after leading his team to first place in the Western Division and into the WHL finals.

1997 -- Coached Canada internationally for the first time at the world junior championship in Switzerland. Canada won the gold medal, defeating the United States in the championship game.

2000-02 -- Moved to the pros when he was named coach of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League. Cincinnati, the AHL affiliate of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Detroit Red Wings, had a 74-59-20-7 record under Babcock and qualified for the Calder Cup playoffs in each of his two seasons.

2002-04 -- Was named coach of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on May 22, 2002. Led Anaheim to the best season in franchise history in 2002-03 (40-27-9-6, 95 points); the Mighty Ducks advanced to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final before losing to the New Jersey Devils. However, they did not qualify for the playoffs in 2003-04; this is the only time in his pro career that a Babcock-coached team failed to make the postseason.

2004 -- Coached Canada at the IIHF world championship in Prague. Canada went 7-1-1 and defeated Sweden to win the gold medal. Babcock became the first coach to lead Canada to the title at the world juniors and the world championship.

2005 -- Named coach of the Detroit Red Wings on July 15, 2005.

2008 -- Led the Red Wings to the 11th Stanley Cup in franchise history and the fourth since 1997. They defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games in the final.

2009 -- Coached the Red Wings to the Western Conference championship and a second straight berth in the Stanley Cup final, where they were defeated by the Penguins in seven games.

2010 -- Led Canada to the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics, capped by a 3-2 overtime victory against the United States in the championship game. Babcock became the only coach to join the "Triple Gold Club"; members have won a Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal and a world championship.

2014 -- Coached Canada to the gold medal at the Sochi Olympics. His team allowed three goals while going 6-0 and defeating Sweden in the championship game.

2015 -- Led the Red Wings to their 24th consecutive appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and their 10th in his 10 seasons with Detroit. The Red Wings lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games in the Eastern Conference first round.

2015 -- Announced as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 20, 2015. Babcock becomes the 30th head coach in Maple Leafs history, agreeing on an eight-year deal worth a reported $50 million.


TOP 50 NHL COACHES RANKING BY GAMES COACHED (courtesy hockey-reference.com)
 
  REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
RK COACH FROM TO YRS GP ? W L T OL PTS PTS% G W L T W-L% CHAMP ST CUP
1 Scotty Bowman* 1968 2002 30 2141 1244 573 314 10 2812 .657 353 223 130 0 .632 9 9
2 Al Arbour* 1971 2008 23 1607 782 577 248 0 1812 .564 209 123 86 0 .589 4 4
3 Dick Irvin* 1929 1956 27 1449 692 527 230   1614 .557 190 100 88 2 .532 4 4
4 Joel Quenneville 1997 2016 19 1429 788 454 77 110 1763 .617 204 115 89 0 .564 3 3
5 Ron Wilson 1994 2012 18 1401 648 561 101 91 1488 .531 95 47 48 0 .495 0 0
6 Pat Quinn 1979 2010 20 1400 684 528 154 34 1556 .556 183 94 89 0 .514 0 0
7 Mike Keenan 1985 2009 20 1386 672 531 147 36 1527 .551 173 96 77 0 .555 1 1
8 Lindy Ruff 1998 2016 18 1380 684 508 78 110 1556 .564 107 59 48 0 .551 0 0
9 Ken Hitchcock 1996 2016 19 1375 737 445 88 105 1667 .606 148 76 72 0 .514 1 1
10 Barry Trotz 1999 2016 17 1326 637 514 60 115 1449 .546 64 26 38 0 .406 0 0
11 Jacques Martin 1987 2012 17 1294 613 481 119 81 1426 .551 111 50 61 0 .450 0 0
12 Jacques Lemaire* 1984 2011 17 1262 617 458 124 63 1421 .563 117 61 56 0 .521 1 1
13 Paul Maurice 1996 2016 18 1251 543 520 99 89 1274 .509 57 25 32 0 .439 0 0
14 Bryan Murray 1982 2008 17 1239 620 465 131 23 1394 .563 112 52 60 0 .464 0 0
15 Darryl Sutter 1993 2016 16 1171 578 420 101 72 1329 .567 165 88 77 0 .533 2 2
16 Marc Crawford 1995 2011 15 1151 549 421 103 78 1279 .556 83 43 40 0 .518 1 1
17 Billy Reay 1958 1977 16 1102 542 385 175   1259 .571 117 57 60 0 .487 0 0
18 Brian Sutter 1989 2004 13 1028 451 417 140 20 1062 .517 68 28 40 0 .412 0 0
19 Alain Vigneault 1998 2016 14 1020 547 359 35 79 1208 .592 122 61 61 0 .500 0 0
20 Pat Burns* 1989 2004 14 1019 501 353 151 14 1167 .573 149 78 71 0 .523 1 1
21 Terry Murray 1990 2012 15 1012 499 383 89 41 1128 .557 101 50 51 0 .495 0 0
22 Jacques Demers 1980 1999 14 1007 409 468 130   948 .471 98 55 43 0 .561 1 1
23 Roger Neilson* 1978 2002 16 1000 460 378 159 3 1082 .541 106 51 55 0 .481 0 0
24 Dave Tippett 2003 2016 13 1000 512 353 28 107 1159 .580 74 33 41 0 .446 0 0
25 Mike Babcock 2003 2016 13 999 545 307 19 128 1237 .619 144 82 62 0 .569 1 1
26 John Tortorella 2000 2016 15 981 465 396 37 83 1050 .535 89 43 46 0 .483 1 1
27 Sid Abel* 1953 1976 16 964 382 427 155   919 .477 76 32 44 0 .421 0 0
28 Jack Adams* 1928 1947 20 964 413 390 161   987 .512 105 52 52 1 .500 3 3
29 Glen Sather* 1980 2004 13 932 497 307 121 7 1122 .602 127 89 37 1 .705 4 4
30 Toe Blake* 1956 1968 13 914 500 255 159   1159 .634 119 82 37 0 .689 8 8
31 Bob Hartley 1999 2016 13 910 449 345 61 55 1014 .557 95 54 41 0 .568 1 1
32 Claude Julien 2003 2016 13 910 496 296 10 108 1110 .610 109 61 47 0 .560 1 1
33 Peter Laviolette 2002 2016 14 892 460 326 25 81 1026 .575 88 45 43 0 .511 1 1
34 Punch Imlach* 1959 1980 14 889 402 337 150   954 .537 92 44 48 0 .478 4 4
35 Bob Berry 1979 1994 11 860 384 355 121   889 .517 33 11 22 0 .333 0 0
36 Bob Pulford* 1973 2000 12 829 363 330 136 0 862 .520 71 28 43 0 .394 0 0
37 Art Ross* 1918 1945 19 802 394 313 95   883 .550 70 32 33 5 .493 2 2
38 Michel Bergeron 1981 1990 10 792 338 350 104   780 .492 68 31 37 0 .456 0 0
39 Emile Francis* 1966 1983 13 778 388 273 117   893 .574 89 39 50 0 .438 0 0
40 Milt Schmidt* 1955 1976 13 770 250 394 126   626 .406 34 15 19 0 .441 0 0
41 Red Kelly* 1968 1977 10 742 278 330 134   690 .465 62 24 38 0 .387 0 0
42 Andy Murray 2000 2010 10 738 333 278 58 69 793 .537 28 10 18 0 .357 0 0
43 Fred Shero* 1972 1981 10 734 390 225 119   899 .612 110 63 47 0 .573 2 2
44 Michel Therrien 2001 2016 11 725 361 269 23 72 817 .563 71 38 33 0 .535 0 0
45 Randy Carlyle 2006 2015 10 704 364 260   80 808 .574 69 39 30 0 .565 1 1
46 Craig MacTavish 2001 2009 8 656 301 252 47 56 705 .537 30 17 13 0 .567 0 0
47 John Muckler 1969 2000 10 648 276 285 84 3 639 .493 67 36 31 0 .537 1 1
48 Bruce Boudreau 2008 2016 9 647 386 185   76 848 .655 73 38 35   .521 0 0
49 Pierre Page 1989 1998 8 636 253 301 82   588 .462 22 6 16 0 .273 0 0
50 Terry Crisp 1988 1998 9 631 286 267 78   650 .515 43 24 19 0 .558 1 1

MIKE BABCOCK'S CAREER COACHING RECORD (compliled by Earl Zukerman, Sports Information Officer, McGill University)
 
(updated on Feb. 3, 2016)                      
        REGULAR SEASON         PLAYOFFS    
Season Team League G W L T PCT   G W L PCT  
1988-89 Red Deer  CCAA 24 18 4 2 0.792   10 8 2 0.800  
1989-90 Red Deer  CCAA 24 11 12 1 0.479   5 2 3 0.400  
1990-91 Red Deer  CCAA 25 19 6 0 0.760   3 1 2 0.333  
1991-92 Moose Jaw WHL 72 33 36 3 0.479   4 0 4 0.000  
1992-93 Moose Jaw WHL 72 27 42 3 0.396   0 0 0 0.000  
1993-94 Lethbridge CIAU 28 19 7 2 0.714   9 7 2 0.778  
1994-95 Spokane WHL 72 32 36 4 0.472   11 6 5 0.545  
1995-96 Spokane WHL 72 50 18 4 0.722   9 3 6 0.333  
1996-97 Spokane WHL 65 31 30 4 0.508   9 4 5 0.444  
1996-97 CANADA JR. IIHF 4 2 0 2 0.750   3 3 0 1.000  
1997-98 Spokane WHL 72 45 23 4 0.653   18 10 8 0.556  
1998-99 Spokane WHL 72 19 44 9 0.326   0 0 0 0.000  
1999-00 Spokane WHL 72 47 21 4 0.681   20 15 5 0.750  
2000-01 Cincinnati AHL 80 41 26 13 0.594   4 1 3 0.250  
2001-02 Cincinnati AHL 80 33 33 14 0.500   3 1 2 0.333  
2002-03 Anaheim NHL 82 40 33 9 0.543   21 15 6 0.714  
2003-04 Anaheim NHL 82 29 43 10 0.415   0 0 0 0.000  
2004 CANADA SR. IIHF 8 5 2 1 0.688   3 3 0 1.000  
2004-05 Anaheim NHL (strike) - - - - 0.000   - -   0.000  
2005-06 Detroit NHL 82 58 16 8 0.756   6 2 4 0.333  
2006-07 Detroit NHL 82 50 19 13 0.689   18 10 8 0.556  
2007-08 Detroit NHL 82 54 21 7 0.701   22 16 6 0.727  
2008-09 Detroit NHL 82 51 21 10 0.683   23 15 8 0.652  
2008 CANADA SR. Olympics 3 2 1 0 0.667   4 4 0 1.000  
2009-10 Detroit NHL 82 44 24 14 0.622   12 5 7 0.417  
2010-11 Detroit NHL 82 47 25 10 0.634   11 7 4 0.636  
2011-12 Detroit NHL 82 48 28 6 0.622   5 1 4 0.200  
2012-13 Detroit NHL (strike) 48 24 16 8 0.583   13 7 6 0.538  
2013-14 Detroit NHL 82 39 28 15 0.567   5 4 1 0.800  
2014 CANADA SR. Olympics 3 3 0 0 1.000   3 3 0 1.000  
2014-15 Detroit NHL 82 43 25 14 0.610   7 3 4 0.429  
2015-16 Toronto NHL 49 18 22 9 0.459            
OVERALL CAREER TOTALS: 1847 982 662 203 0.587   261 156 105 0.598  
NHL REG. SEASON CAREER TOTAL: 999 545 321 133 0.612   143 85 58 0.594  
ALL GAMES (Reg. Season + Playoffs): 2108 1138 767 203 0.588            
                           
NOTE: Games played at the IIHF and Olympic levels are broken into two separate colums, one for the preliminary round and one for the playoff round.

[read original article by Earl Zukerman, McGill Athletics, Feb 3, 2016]

[read "Mike Babcock celebrates 1,000th game in Leafs' win over Devils, Neil Davidson, CBC Sports, Feb 5, 2016]