‘All he cares about is himself’: Former Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Frank Corrado speaks on Mike Babcock privacy allegations
Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing7 days ago
As the hockey world continues to navigate through allegations of privacy concerns levied against new Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Mike Babcock, former players are continuing to come out speaking against the bench boss whose career spans four decades.
The latest to do so on Wednesday was former Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Frank Corrado, who spoke from his experience playing under Babcock on TSN 1050’s First Up.
It comes a day after former NHL player Paul Bissonnette alleged on his Spittin’ Chiclets podcast Babcock had Boone Jenner come into his office and asked to see photos from his phone to “see what kind of a person you are.”
Both Babcock and Jenner have since downplayed the allegations in a team release wherein the coach said he asked to see family photos “as part of the process of getting to know them better” and that the allegations were “a gross misrepresentation” of the meetings. Jenner felt “it was a great first meeting and good way for us to start to build a relationship.”
Corrado himself didn’t offer an opinion on the recent allegations admitting “it’s hard for us as outsiders to comment on what we think happened,” but wasn’t shy when talking about the things he saw over the years.
He did, however, share his own experiences with Babcock, adding that he had “every reason” to believe the allegations and that “the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.”
“We only know what we hear from credible sources, and listen — if Paul Bissonette is going public with something like that, I have every reason to believe that he got it from a credible source,” Corrado said. “He’s not going to torpedo his show and his reputation in the United States. He’s not going to sewer himself in that regard.
“And listen, when you see the statement from Babcock and Boone Jenner, it’s like the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Booner Jenner is the captain, he’s a well-respected player in the league.
“It’s hard for us outsiders to comment on what we think happened. It’s just speculation. I can only speak from my experience playing for the guy and my experiences were not great.”
Corrado, a 2011 5th-round pick by the Vancouver Canucks, joined the Leafs originally after being claimed off waivers in October 2015. He spent a year and a half in the organization before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in March 2017, but re-signed with the club as a free agent in Oct. 2018.
With Babcock being hired as the Leafs head coach ahead of the 2015-16 — a role he held through the first 23 games of the 2019-20 season — each of Corrado’s two stints with the Leafs came with Babcock behind the bench. Over that time, Corrado played 41 games for the Maple Leafs scoring one goal and six points, and another 64 games with the AHL Marlies.
“If you’re asking me what I think, I’ll go back to my experiences with the guy,” Corrado said. “I don’t think he handles himself well, I think he’s socially awkward, I don’t think he cares about your family.
“I know for a fact that he doesn’t care about your family, all he cares about is himself. He’s been like that forever.”
Feb 2, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock (center) and assistant coach D.J. Smith talk to their players during a timeout in the third period of the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
Corrado went on to say he read a “three-part puff piece” on Babcock recently, and that it made him feel sick.
“Honestly, my stomach turned reading this thing because he’s talking about how he’s got a communication plan for every player,” Corrado said adding, “No he doesn’t, he doesn’t care about anyone other than himself.
“So listen — not my place to comment on what I think may or may not have happened with the Blue Jackets players. My experience with him, he doesn’t really care about anyone but himself and that’s how he’s going to operate every day even in Columbus.”
Babcock, who has been widely considered in hockey circles to be best described as an “old school” coach, is anything but, Corrado said.
“I played for (John) Tortorella. Tortorella is old school, he’ll get right in your face and tell you when you’re playing like garbage or whatever the case may be,” he said. “He tells it to you direct and blunt and you may not like it.
“My issue, and a lot of people’s issues with the way Babs does things, is he doesn’t do that. He doesn’t get in your face, he doesn’t tell you direct and blunt and straightforward.
“He plays these stupid head games around you and that’s what frustrates players. I think it’s important to separate the two when it comes to old-school guys.”
The allegations against Babcock are currently under investigation by the NHL Players Association.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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