Jul 28, 2013, 6:16 PM EDT
As one of the most respected coaches in the league – not to mention the bench boss of the 2010 gold medal team – Mike Babcock seemed like a pretty obvious choice for Team Canada. They made it official on Monday.
While the Toronto Star’s Cathal Kelly believes that it was the right choice for the team, it might not be the same for Babcock, who Kelly believes is entering something like a no-win situation.
Kelly describes the gig as a “patriotic minefield,” especially after a successful first run.
Canada rides a metronomic wave of Olympic hockey emotion. With a gold in hand, we’ve crested the peak of the manic phase, and are headed down toward depression. The microscopic attention span of the public can only properly focus on the win that follows the disappointment of a loss. That’s the first high. Everything else is chasing a feeling that diminishes.
Even in a profession where job security seems perpetually flimsy, Kelly asserts that being behind Canada’s bench is the greatest pressure a coach can face.
We talk a lot about the pressure of coaching. At the professional level, that’s cultural and self-imposed. Every guy who earns the spot in the middle of the bench gets a bunch of mulligans along with it.
This is real pressure, because it has so little to do with professional competence. It’s standing at the head of an army you’ve only just met, and hoping they don’t need to be told what to do. If they lose, it’s on you. No do-overs.
Of course, there’s the counterargument: you get to guide what’s essentially an All-Star team, only with the motivation of representing your hockey-mad country as an added advantage.
(H/T to the Detroit Free Press.)
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 16
- Gorges still can’t explain falling out of favor in Montreal 10
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 10
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 7
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 30
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 45
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 39
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 42
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 25
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 32
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Lucic regrets handshake-line actions, but isn’t apologizing (58)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)
- Red Wings unveil plans for new arena, look to open in 2017 (57)