Chris Chelios has made his feelings on Mike Babcock known before, but he's going into more detail now that the former NHL head coach is coming under fire for his handling of players.
The Hall of Fame defenseman, who played for Babcock with the Detroit Red Wings for four seasons near the end of his career, opened up about his former bench boss on the "Spittin' Chiclets" podcast.
"What's come up here in Toronto … it's coming back to haunt Babcock for not so much his coaching as the way he treated people,” Chelios said.
“What he did to (Mike) Modano was incredibly disrespectful," he added. "What he did to, just recently, (Jason) Spezza in Toronto, those were the things that are so unnecessary."
Last week, just days after Babcock was fired as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was revealed that he had shamed Mitch Marner in 2016 by asking the then-rookie to make a list ranking his teammates by work ethic before Babcock shared it with the players at the bottom of the list.
Babcock said last week that he apologized to Marner at the time.
The longtime bench boss made Modano a healthy scratch with 1,499 games played and the forward ultimately never reached the 1,500-game milestone. Earlier this season, Babcock made Spezza a healthy scratch for the season opener against Spezza's former team, the Ottawa Senators.
Chelios said that after one disagreement with the coach early in his Red Wings tenure, Babcock told him, "If you don't like it, you can go see (general manager) Kenny Holland. I'm sure he'll trade you."
The legendary blue-liner also called it "so unnecessary" that Babcock tried to make him a healthy scratch for the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago because he knew it was Chelios' hometown. Babcock eventually relented, but he benched Chelios after the opening shift.
Chelios said in 2017 that no veteran free agent would "want to come in and play for" Babcock.