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Report: Blue Jackets to hire Mike Babcock as next head coach

The former Maple Leafs coach will take over in Columbus.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Babcock is expected to become the next head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, per Darren Dreger of TSN. He will replace Brad Larsen, who was fired. by the Jackets following the conclusion of the regular season.

Babcock returns to the NHL after a three-year hiatus, last coaching for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He coached four full seasons in Toronto, leading the team to three straight playoffs appearances and each resulting in a first-round exit. He would be let get go early in the 2019-20 season after a 9-10 start to the campaign. Prior to Toronto, he served stints with the Anaheim Ducks and the Detroit Red Wings, where he led the Wings to a Stanley Cup Final victory in 2008. Despite his prowess as a veteran coach, he has been criticized by several former players for mistreatment.

He will now be tasked with turning around a Blue Jackets franchise that has missed the postseason for three straight years.