Mike Babcock will join the University of Vermont hockey team as a volunteer adviser for the 2020-21 season.
Babcock, fired as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 20, 2019 and replaced by Sheldon Keefe, will be a member of the staff of Vermont coach Todd Woodcroft, most recently an assistant with the Winnipeg Jets. Woodcroft was hired by Vermont on April 15.
“Mike and I have been connected for over 15 years and our network goes back even further to our McGill University experience,” Woodcroft said of his and Babcock’s alma mater. “He is a premier coach across any athletic platform, and as a coaching staff we are very fortunate to be able to draw from his experiences. Mike’s knowledge, his network, and above all else, the modern lens he uses to look at the game of hockey will help accelerate the progression of our entire program.”
Babcock, the eighth-winningest coach in NHL history, was 700-418-164 with 19 ties in 17 seasons with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Detroit Red Wings and Maple Leafs, and won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008. The 57-year-old, who was 90-74 in 164 Stanley Cup Playoff games, helped Toronto reach the playoffs each of the past three seasons but failed to advance past the Eastern Conference First Round. He was 173-133-45 in five seasons with the Maple Leafs.
Babcock coached Canada to five tournament championships; the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics; the 2016 World Cup of Hockey; the 2004 World Championship, and the 1997 World Junior Championship.
Woodcroft was an assistant on the 2004 World Championship team.
Mark Stuart, a former NHL defenseman, joined the Vermont staff as a volunteer coach.
“Often as a coach, you learn more from the players than they learn from you,” Woodcroft said. “Working with Mark in Winnipeg and watching him approach his career as if every day were his last was something that always stood out to me. … Players can expect to learn daily from Mark what it takes to be a professional – on and off the ice.”
Stuart, who played for the Jets from 2011-17, scored 93 points (26 goals, 67 assists) in 673 NHL games in 12 seasons with the Boston Bruins, Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg, and scored four points (one goal, three assists) in 26 playoff games.