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BadgerBob

Mike Commodore's experience with the Wings

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Mike Commodore has a pretty interesting story on his experience with the Wings and specifically Mike Babcock: http://www.khl.hr/en/khl/commie-s-russian-story-how-babcock-sent-mike-to-the-other-side-of-the-planet

So, after that I got bought out, and when you get bought out that’s like... I won't say you can't come back from it, you can, but usually you've got one chance. If it doesn't work, you're done. I got bought out on July 1st; I didn't think I would get any contract, nothing. Fifteen minutes into free agency my agent calls me and tells me that Detroit called. They offered me a contract. I had a bad history with Mike Babcock, I didn't want to have anything to do with him. He tried and succeeded in burying me in the minors in my third pro year, but I got out of it. I wanted nothing to do with him.

They offered me a one year deal worth one million. My gut was screaming: “Don't take it, you've got one chance, if it doesn't go well, you're done in the NHL!”

I told my agent: “I don't want to play in Detroit, I don't trust that coach. Call him back and tell him thank you, we'll get back to you. Then my agent told me the GM put a 15 minute timer on the offer. This was July 1st, free agency had just started. I called the GM and told him: “Ken, Mike Commodore here, I like you, you're a good guy. Is it you who wants me or the coach? “. Ken Holland said it was the coach. So I told him that I wanted to play for him, but that I didn't trust the coach. So I called the coach, by now I had 10 minutes left. I called him: “Bab, Mike Commodore here. Please be honest with me, do you want me on your hockey team or not?“ He said he did. I wanted to know if I’d get an opportunity, nothing else. He wanted me, he wanted to play me, he said he'd give me an opportunity.

I hung up the phone, five minutes left. My gut screamed “Say No!” This coach screwed me over nine years ago, I chewed him up in the papers... But I started to think about Detroit, a good team, and about maybe getting the opportunity. I signed the contract, thirty minutes into free agency. I signed the ******* contract faster than when I was a “hot commodity” four years earlier.

I went to camp in Detroit, and got scratched out. I did injure my knee a bit so I missed couple of days in camp and the first four games. I got back as if it was nothing major. I came back, and the team won its first five games. I got scratched, but okay, the team was winning. We lost seven in a row, then I wasn’t even close to playing. Scratch, scratch. Finally, it was mid-November, Ian White got a puck to the face and was going to miss a week, we went on a road trip. A four-game road trip, and I thought to myself that this was my chance. I played three games, no two games, I think, three minutes a night… The only time I touched the ice was when the fourth line was on, and the faceoff was in the neutral zone. I was opening the doors for Lidström, that’s all I was doing, being a cheerleader.

Bab then met with me, said he was calling up guys from minors, and scratched me until Christmas. Then the GM forced the coach to play me; I played fifteen games, I fought, I played the best I could with the ice time I was getting. And then I got traded (to Tampa) because Ken Holland felt bad. He's a good guy. He got me out of Detroit because Babcock was trying to end my career. The GM of Tampa is Steve Yzerman, and I got traded for nothing. Yzerman took me, Tampa was good; we were five points out of the playoffs. Guy Boucher talked with me, and he said that as long as we were close to a playoff spot I'd be playing. If we fell out of the playoff zone, they'd be playing two younger defensemen. I ended playing up 11 games. We were in it, then lost a couple in a row and fell out of it. I played in the last game of the year as a thank you in Winnipeg.

I'm kind of surprised. Also in the interview before talking about the Wings, he had a pretty strange story about what happened in Columbus as well.

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Babs puts certain players in a position to fail like Weiss. I think that has something to do with how fragile we are as a team mentally. I bet he calls guys out a lot in the locker room cause some people seem to play scared

Having said that, I think commie blames others for his problems a bit too much

Edited by joesuffP

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I just find it interesting that he claims he got played for a period of time because "The GM made the coach play me."

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Also how with this team how thing always go from bad to worse. I know injuries and all but it seems like when we play bad we hang our head and it takes a long time to get back on track

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The stuff that he said about his time in Columbus made it seem like he likes to blame others and make excuses for why he isn't playing. After reading that I had a harder time believing his side of the story of his time in Detroit.

I also don't remember him standing out when he played.

But who knows.

Nev, hooon, thegerkin and 2 others like this

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Would love to hear something from the Wings perspective. But I think Babs is an old time coach that believes you have to earn a spot in the lineup instead of being given one, and just like every other coach he has guys that he trusts and will play more, Cleary, and guys that haven't earned that trust who will play less, just like Weiss is.

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The stuff that he said about his time in Columbus made it seem like he likes to blame others and make excuses for why he isn't playing. After reading that I had a harder time believing his side of the story of his time in Detroit.

I also don't remember him standing out when he played.

But who knows.

Agreed. Commodore is a whiner. He's also got a terrible memory. Let's go down the list.

The Wings started with six wins and six losses, not five and seven... Ian White was injured on the 13th of November, 2011, and Commodore was played only one game in the immediate future---not two, not three---and he played seven minutes, not three.... Commodore played three days before Christmas... Brendan Smith was Babcock's single minor-league call-up on defense in that season, and he played with the team for only four nights (three games) in 2011 (he was then sent down until March)... and so on.

If Commodore's going to spill his guts like this, he really ought to ensure first that he's got his facts right.

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Theres a reason two of the best players on the planet, Datsyuk and zetterberg, are career guys here. Because they earn and deserve it. This dudes a clown. The KHL can have him.

Edit: spelling.

Edited by RedWang

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Agreed. Commodore is a whiner. He's also got a terrible memory. Let's go down the list.

The Wings started with six wins and six losses, not five and seven... Ian White was injured on the 13th of November, 2011, and Commodore was played only one game in the immediate future---not two, not three---and he played seven minutes, not three.... Commodore played three days before Christmas... Brendan Smith was Babcock's single minor-league call-up on defense in that season, and he played with the team for only four nights (three games) in 2011 (he was then sent down until March)... and so on.

If Commodore's going to spill his guts like this, he really ought to ensure first that he's got his facts right.

You have no idea how much posts like this make me smile. Facts, stats, and solid discussion based on them.

I hoped Commie would succeed here. When he didn't, I was glad he got a chance in Tampa. We had to bring up Smith for a look-see. We're like that with out future players that are ripening.

If you get hired as a 7th defenseman, and you don't play yourself into a higher position, you're going to end up with 7th defenseman games and minutes.

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I know this thread is basically fishing for ways to blame Babcock, but Commie isn't a very good source. He's an entertaining guy but seems to have a warped sense of his actual ability level his last few seasons in the NHL. And as has been pointed out, his grasp of events is less than reliable. The reality ultimately is that the game left him behind.

Unless I end up playing in the NHL again, I’ve finished that part of my career with some 480 games played (484 regular and 53 playoff ) I think it's a joke that I didn’t play at least 600, not a thousand; I've spent way too long in the minors. Two and a half years into my contract I was in one of the best D-pairings in the league. The next year I had a groin injury, it happens. The year after I started in camp, then I got scratched 15 games in a row. But if this is the end, it's the end. I'd like to play in the KHL for the few years; it would be nice to win here.

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I just had to make my sig following this information. LOL. I don't know if he is being honest or if Babcock and Holland just didn't see the production they wanted. He wasn't noticeable to me while he was here.

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3rd pairing guy, had a good year, cashed in, pooped the bed after the big contract..rest is history...don't believe a word of this crap...I'm not saying Babs is Mr Personality but some of the greatest coaches off all time have the personalities of a rock.. I don't think there were a lot of guys here who were great friends with Scotty but he was arguably the best coach of all time and got the job done.

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I know this thread is basically fishing for ways to blame Babcock, but Commie isn't a very good source. He's an entertaining guy but seems to have a warped sense of his actual ability level his last few seasons in the NHL. And as has been pointed out, his grasp of events is less than reliable. The reality ultimately is that the game left him behind.

I had no intentions of blaming Babcock for anything, I just thought it was an interesting read and thought I'd share it, that's all.

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I had no intentions of blaming Babcock for anything, I just thought it was an interesting read and thought I'd share it, that's all.

Ok. Apologies for making assumptions. There's just been a fairly strong sentiment around these parts that Babcock is the ruiner of this team.

Babcock is in the mold of Bowman. He doesn't seem very interested in being liked and there's a method to his madness.

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Babcock is in the mold of Bowman. He doesn't seem very interested in being liked and there's a method to his madness.

Aye. People sometimes forget that players often detested Bowman, even if they still did respect him.

Edited by Crymson
puckbags likes this

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"I signed the ******* contract faster than when I was a “hot commodity” four years earlier." Hot commodity? Really?

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Poor commie.. I've followed him on Twitter since we signed him. He's very entertaining on there and seems like a good guy.. wish things could've gone better for him

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Agreed. Commodore is a whiner. He's also got a terrible memory. Let's go down the list.

The Wings started with six wins and six losses, not five and seven... Ian White was injured on the 13th of November, 2011, and Commodore was played only one game in the immediate future---not two, not three---and he played seven minutes, not three.... Commodore played three days before Christmas... Brendan Smith was Babcock's single minor-league call-up on defense in that season, and he played with the team for only four nights (three games) in 2011 (he was then sent down until March)... and so on.

If Commodore's going to spill his guts like this, he really ought to ensure first that he's got his facts right.

He was recalling a story, not writing a scientific review. I'd guess that when most people re-tell a story from something that happened at work 2 years ago, their "facts" wouldn't be 100% correct. Most people don't google every time they tell a story.

I think there are two sides to every story. I would guess there's a bit of truth to what Commie says, and if Babcock were to tell his side, there'd be some truth and some factual errors too, and the actual truth would lie somewhere in the middle.

nawein and Shaman like this

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Aye. People sometimes forget that players often detested Bowman, even if they still did respect him.

Absolutely. The best coaches are the hardest to work with but the most rewarding because they know what they're doing. Julien, Hitchcock, and Babcock...isn't the famous quote about Bowman, "you hated the guy 364 days of the year and on the 365th day you received the Stanley cup."?

Babcock's a very smart man whom has a degree in sports psychology. He knows how to use it.

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Absolutely. The best coaches are the hardest to work with but the most rewarding because they know what they're doing. Julien, Hitchcock, and Babcock...isn't the famous quote about Bowman, "you hated the guy 364 days of the year and on the 365th day you received the Stanley cup."?

Babcock's a very smart man whom has a degree in sports psychology. He knows how to use it.

It still doesn't explain Dan Cleary.

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He was recalling a story, not writing a scientific review. I'd guess that when most people re-tell a story from something that happened at work 2 years ago, their "facts" wouldn't be 100% correct. Most people don't google every time they tell a story.

Commodore wasn't sharing an innocuous story about an isolated event from years past. He was ranting about a series of events across an entire season, and much of his material was flat-out wrong. I suspect that he deliberately exaggerated his experience to the interviewer.

This wasn't an objective recounting of the facts. It was a petulant diatribe.

It still doesn't explain Dan Cleary.

I have (obviously) strongly objected to Babcock's use of Cleary in the past two seasons, but I can nevertheless appreciate that there are no perfect coaches anywhere, and that imperfect does not mean atrocious.

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