Pierre Gervais calls out and destroys Babcock and Hitchcock for the way they treat their players

Jeff Drouin
September 14, 2022  (4:43 PM)

Former Canadiens equipment manager Pierre Gervais has seen many coaches in his career. In more than 30 years with the CH and the Canadian team, he has seen some pleasant ones, and others less so, like Ken Hitchcock and Mike Babcock...

In a recent interview with Mario Langlois on 98.5 FM, the newly retired coach talked about his experience with the different coaches he met, including Hitchcock and Babcock who did not impress him at all.
"I have two coaches that I would never have played for. Since I was with the Habs and it wasn't with the CH, it was with Team Canada: Ken Hitchcock and Mike Babcock. They are two very knowledgeable guys, but bigger than the game, bigger than the team, full of themselves. I've never seen that in Montreal. In Montreal, it would not have passed." - Pierre Gervais

Gervais even used Sidney Crosby as an example of how unpleasant Mike Babcock could be, even with one of the best players in the world at the time.
"Mike Babcock, because of the way he was kind of condescending. On the bench at the Olympics, I once saw him give a tank of ... to Sidney Crosby. It surprised me so much, he was pretty much the best player in the world." - Pierre Gervais

For his part, Hitchcock was no better. According to Gervais, he had no compassion for his players and what they were going through off the ice.
Ken Hitchcock was the same way. He wasn't pleasant. That's it. It's hockey, hockey, hockey. Your wife can give birth in the morning and he won't give a damn. You play hockey at night!" - Pierre Gervais

Gervais did not meet only bad coaches, and one of those he appreciated the most was Jacques Demers. According to him, the players always wanted to break the boards for the one who managed to bring the Stanley Cup back to town in 1993.
"Jacques Demers, I liked him because he's a big tedy bear, but tough at the same time. When he got angry, it was something. [...] At one point, he had a fit in the video room and said we were going to win the cup. [...] Jacques was loved by the players. He could be affable, kind, asked about them and could be quite tough." - Pierre Gervais

It seems that times have changed and that the new wave of coaches, including Martin St-Louis, are now much more sensitive to their players.
Pierre Gervais calls out and destroys Babcock and Hitchcock for the way they treat their players

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