The days since Toronto's dismissed head coach Maple Leafs, Mike Babcock, has been full of allegations of harassment and abuse against him and the now former Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters. On Tuesday, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame filed new accusations against Babcock derived from his time along with the Detroit Red Wings.
Chris Chelios – who played 26 seasons in the NHL – alleged in the Spittin Chiclets podcast by Barstool Sports on Monday that Mike Babcock verbally assaulted former Red Wings striker Johan Franzen to the point that Franzen had a nervous breakdown.
“Yes, that would be easy. It would be Johan Franzen, "Chelios answered When Bissonette, co-host of the podcast, asked if Babcock's training style ever put players in a bad state of mind.
"What (Babcock) did to him in the end, he was hurt at the time, I think it was the playoffs we lost with (the Nashville Predators), we got mad at Nashville. Some of the things (Babcock told Franzen) at the bank , I don't know what he said behind closed doors one by one, but he verbally assaulted him during the game at the bank. "
Franzen, 39, remains under contract with Detroit until 2019-20 but has not played in the NHL since October 2015 due to persistent problems with post-concussion syndrome. He revealed in a December 2018 interview that he is fighting a daily battle against depression, anxiety and panic attacks and said he was diagnosed with a post-traumatic stress disorder after walking away from hockey.
"It got to the point where poor Johan, nobody really knew he was suffering from concussion and depression, he just collapsed and had a nervous breakdown," Chelios added. "Not only at the bank but after the game. In one of the rooms in Nashville. It was probably the worst I've seen."
Below is an excerpt from Chelios's interview with Spittin Chiclets published on December 2.
Chelios and Franzen played together in the Red Wings since 2005-09, but he remained within the Detroit organization as chief office executive and assistant coach for the rest of Franzen's NHL race. The Red Wings moved from the West to East Conference in realigning the division before the 2013-14 season, suggesting that this particular incident between Babcock and Franzen occurred during one of the two Nashville-Detroit playoff series in 2008 or 2012.
According to Chelios, no veteran on the team, which included Red Wings legends Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg, confronted Babcock about this behavior and that when general manager Ken Holland was alerted to the incident, he got behind his coach in chief.
"The boys obviously talked to each other," Chelios said in the podcast. "But when something happened and there were some doubts and he came to Kenny Holland, Kenny Holland went down to the living room and had this speech and supported Mike Babcock. It was a great speech, but (it was to tell everyone) in the room that yes you don't like it, you could be changed. & # 39; Come see me, you can be changed & # 39; so that was the way it ended. ”
The podcasters, Barstool Sports blogger, Rear Admiral and former NHLers Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette, said Chelios contacted them following Babcock's dismissal.