Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Mike Babcock Coach of the Year? Why he should get it over Patrick Roy

I've always had an issue with Coach of the Year Awards. They should be re-named to the: "Coach of the Least Expected Team That Does Win Award."
It's why the Red Wings' Mike Babcock, despite a terrific track record, has never won the Jack Adams Trophy for Coach of the Year. It's expected the Red Wings will win annually.
Mike Babcock: His year to add the hardware?
But this year, if the Red Wings get in, he deserves the award, The Red Wings are doing this against strong competition without their two resident stars, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and without a top pair defensemen, Jonathan Ericsson, who recently proved to be a world-class player at the Olympics.
His goalie, Jimmy Howard, has only recently rounded into form after injuries.
There has been a lot angst about how the Red Wings put together their roster early in the season, and the criticism is justified, but the Red Wings have more than made up for it with this late season run, if they complete it.
Colorado has emerged this season under Roy, who has done a terrific job, but it's a classic case of getting early draft picks to build a team around. The Red Wings have no such luxury. Their emerging young stars were not early draft picks (Gustav Nyquist was a fourth-round pick, Tomas Tatar second round) and have been in their system awhile. Roy has numerous players who were ready to come of age or entered the league ready made.

My column. Opening day shows the promise of this year's version of the Detroit Tigers: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140331/opening-day-a-promising-victory-for-detroit-tigers-pat-caputo-says


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not so fast, Book. While Roy remains an unpopular figure in Detroit for obvious reasons in the past, you should not short change him in favor of Babcock. The latter fell into a perpetual playoff rose garden when he landed in Motown, while the former had no such luxury. Your draft pick argument doesn't hold water either. Every team gets a pick in every round, unless they trade them away for various reasons, usually short term fixes. Roy getting high round picks ready to go is merely a testament to the Rockies' front office looking towards the future, though an argument can certainly be made that GM Ken Holland has always tried to win now with his constant dabbling in the free agent market. Which is the better strategy is open to debate. Besides, Babcock got a gold medal in Sochi with the Canadian olympic hockey team. That should hold him for a while. Let Wah have coach of the year. Neither team is going to sniff Lord Stanley's cup this year anyway.

2:33 AM 

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