There’s plenty of speculation about the dynamic behind closed doors in the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room, all stemming from the firing of head coach Mike Babcock earlier this week. It’s brought former players to speak up about their time with the divisive ex-coach, mainly Mike Commodore, who has a deep and well-chronicled hatred for Babcock.
Hey Mike Babcock....simply put your players quit on you. They quit on you because you are a terrible human being. You are an average coach with an extremely oversized ego. You finally got exactly what you deserve you selfish prick. The hockey world is ecstatic.— Mike Commodore (@commie22) November 20, 2019
Commodore caught some heat online after his 12-tweet rant, but former Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser came to his defence on Saturday. Fraser sided with Commodore, and added insight into how many NHL players apparently view Babcock.
Anyone who thinks @commie22 needs to lay off Babs just doesn’t understand how much hate players have for him. It’s beyond him scratching @commie22 or saying he was out of shape. #NHL players are a very very small population of athletes and people.— Mark Fraser (@MarkFraser02) November 23, 2019
He goes on to add that the public will “never truly understand some of the terrible undeserving things Babs has done to his some of his players.” Fraser says that 95 percent of former players can’t say a good thing about Babcock, and that he creates a culture where teammates turn against each other and against him.
who 95% of his players can’t say a good thing about. With the ability to end players careers, he’s chosen to do so to long serving vets that have resulted in all his players turning against him. He’s used his power to turn teammates against each other, and choose to continuously— Mark Fraser (@MarkFraser02) November 23, 2019
Fraser finished his rant by praising Commodore for speaking up for all the Maple Leafs players who “wouldn’t dare speak the truth right now.”
He’s speaking for all the #MapleLeafs who wouldn’t dare speak the truth right now, but damn sure want to. @commie22 has so many players respect. If only the outsiders in the hockey world knew the truth.— Mark Fraser (@MarkFraser02) November 23, 2019
Fraser had a 7-year career in the NHL, playing mostly in the AHL, but logged 219 games with New Jersey, Toronto and Edmonton. He overlapped with Babcock in 2015, when he was cut on a PTO after one preseason game.
Looking into it, there is a connection between Mark Fraser and Babcock. Fraser was a veteran on a PTO in 2015 and only got into one preseason game with Babcock. He did not make the cut. He was then signed by Ottawa later in September.— Bill Comeau (@Billius27) November 23, 2019
Although it’s just a handful of players who have spoken their mind to date, the picture they paint about Babcock’s coaching style is alarming. His time in Toronto might be over, but speculation about his next role has already begun with many pinpointing him to take over the new Seattle franchise, or a role with Hockey Canada.
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