Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock will be named as Team Canada's head coach for the Mens Olympic hockey team at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. The decision was made by one of Babcock's former players, executive director, Steve Yzerman.
This had to be a lock with or without the presence of Stevie Y. Babcock has proven himself at the NHL level. He's been to the Cup Finals 3 times with 2 different teams. Both of those teams had completely different makeups as far as their respective rosters are concerned.
Sources say that Blue Jackets head coach Ken Hitchcock will be one of Babcock's assistant coaches. The other(s) will come from a group that includes Bruins head coach Claude Julien, Predators head coach Barry Trotz, Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle and Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff.
I don't think you could go wrong with any of those coaches to assist Babcock. I especially would think that Carlyle and Trotz might serve the best as Babcock might know their respective styles a little better having played both coaches' teams numerous times over the years during the season and playoffs.
TSN did their mock draft yesterday. Pierre McGuire and Craig Button made their picks. Button's picks were a little far-fetched, I thought. Ryan Ellis won't drop all the way to #19 and Kreider is a little bit of a stretch at #11. Jordan Schroeder could drop to #17 but if teams use the "best available" approach, he will be taken a bit higher. McGuire took Jared Cowan at #7. Picks 4-7 could be a crapshoot but Cowan is a legit defenceman with all tools. Button picked Jacob Josefson to go at #8. Josefson is a wildcard but maybe not that wild. He definitely is a great two-way forward with good hands.
Lastly, Button took Hedman as the 1st overall pick while McGuire went with Tavares. Both cases for their respective pick were good. Isles GM Garth Snow has said that the team has had the player they want to pick in mind since the draft lottery. My gut tells me its Tavares but we all know the draft history of the New York Islanders...anything is possible.
The draft is on Friday at 4pm PT and if you want a close look at the top prospects, give my last blog a read by going to the archive. I profile who I predict will go in the top 15 as well as possible trades and draft wildcards.
2 days until the draft and these could be the two longest days of the year! It feels like an eternity since the Cup Finals ended and these next two days could feel like an eternity too. I hope not. Watch the draft!