3. Mike Babcock
Mike Babcock is one of the most accomplished head coaches available at the moment. With 17 years of NHL head-coaching experience under his belt, he’s been behind the bench for just three different teams.
Babcock has been to three Stanley Cup Finals, winning a Stanley Cup in 2007-08 while being the bench boss of the Detriot Red Wings. Having won the Stanley Cup, IIHF World Championship, and Olympic Gold, Babcock is the only coach to be recognized as a part of the Triple Gold Club.
Beginning with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Babcock got his start as an NHL head coach in the 2002-03 season. In his first season ever as an NHL head coach, Babcock would make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals but ultimately lose to the New Jersey Devils in seven games.
After the 2004-05 NHL Lockout, the Mighty Ducks offered Babcock a deal to stay with Anaheim, however, he declined it and decided to coach the Red Wings.
In two seasons as the bench boss of Anaheim, Babcock coached all 164 games and posted a record of 69-62-19-14, which was good for 52.1 percent of the team’s total possible points during that time.
Babcock would start his bench duties with the Red Wings at the beginning of the 2005-06 season. Remaining in Detroit for 10 seasons, Babcock coached all possible 786 games with a record of 458-223-105, good enough for 64.9 percent of the Wings’ total possible points.
This 10-year tenure also saw the Wings make back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals in the 2007-08 season and the 2008-09 season, winning the Cup in six games against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2007-08 and losing in seven games to the Penguins in 2008-09.
Babcock has coached the Toronto Maple Leafs for part of the last five seasons, being relieved of his duties after a 9-10-4 start to this season. With the Leafs, Babcock coached 351 games, leading the team to a 173-133-45 record, claiming 55.7 percent of Toronto’s total possible points.
Coaching over 1,300 games and accomplishing an overall record of 700-418-19-164, Babcock has attained over 60 percent of the total possible points he could have had during his 17 seasons of coaching.
If it wasn’t for the recent negative reports of coaching habits, Babcock would be higher on my list. However, these reports are scary and his habits can ruin the morale of a team.
If he can still be effective without these habits, Babcock could be the perfect coach to develop the Sharks into a Stanley Cup-winning team.