One of the game's top enforcers and checkers during the clutch and grab era, McCarty was known to be an avid rock and roller but struggled with substance abuse problems. Ironically, he claims weed actually helped get his life back on track.
The Burnaby, B.C. product played the game extremely hard and finished with four Stanley Cups over his 13-year career. Three of those cups came with the legendary Scottiy Bowman, while his final one came in 2008 with Mike Babcock behind the bench.
Babcock is currently out of a coaching position after being fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs back on November 20, 2019.
It's no secret that many players around the league have clashed with Babs over their careers. Mike Commodore, Mike Modano, Chris Chelios, Johan Franzen and Mitch Marner all had incidents that don't reflect very well on Babcock.
McCarty recently appeared on the Locked On Red Wings podcast to discuss Babcock's coaching tendencies, as well the questionable motivational tactics and head games he played with a number of high-profile Hall of Famers.
“You always trusted Scotty (Bowman) because you respected him,” McCarty said, as transcribed by DetroitNews.com.
“I couldn’t say that about Babcock. … He’s the most egotistical person I’ve ever met, and I don’t understand that. Because like I said, I played with so many Hall-of-Famers, that when guys that are allowed to be that way, don’t act that way, and then you act that way, I don’t have respect for that.”
McCarty was fair in his critiquing, praising Babs for his game preparation and the meticulous details that mattered in the long run.
“I would say Mike Babcock is the greatest X’s and O’s, video preparation coach. Stats, I love stats, you’re all prepared like that,” McCarty said. “His practices are better than games. The way that he does the video, does the preparation, does all that stuff, I’m taking a page out of Mike Babcock’s book, not Scotty Bowman’s book.”
Does Babcock still have a coaching career ahead of him? We know that the NHL recycles coaches and GMs, but Babcock very well could be blackballed for some tim
“People are allowed to change,” McCarty said. “I think if his operating procedure’s different, and he figures out a new way, does he deserve another chance? I believe he does, if he’s changed.”
An honest and fair assessment from the former scraper, no doubt.
If you were to pick three players who are synonymous with McCarty's career, it would have to be his linemates in Detroit, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby, and of course Claud Lemieux, his arch-nemesis from the legendary Detroit and Colorado playoff wars.
►On leaving the hospital with Kris Draper after the hit by Claude Lemieux: “I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it,’ and, ‘Where do you want to eat?’ That was a loaded question; I knew we were going to Andiamo’s because he told me he wanted a plate of gnocchi. If you want to know how long it takes a guy with his jaw wired shut and titanium plates in his face to eat a freakin’ plate of gnocchi, it’s four hours, bro. Four freakin’ hours. Don’t worry, I was drinking back then, I was in Grosse Pointe, I was out on a boat, so I was fine, but it takes four hours. I mean, it’s amazing, the persistence. But he loved the gnocchi and enjoyed every bit of it.”
►On what it felt like to cold-cock Lemieux: “When I pulled my fist back — and I'm a lefty, and if you see, I pulled the right back, cause it’s hard. The right’s way harder, but it never hits the mark. When I pulled that back, every man, woman, child, grandmother, deceased person, everybody in history got into that hand. And I hit him so hard. It was like a golf ball when you pure it. That’s how his face felt.”
►On “Fight Night at the Joe,” March 26, 1997: “During the fight with Lemieux, I’m focused on just trying to drive my fist through his skull and rip his heart out through his nose. Because it was better than stepping on him with my skate. I wouldn’t have gotten away with that.
We encourage you to read the full article here, as well as listening to the podcast to get a better perspective on McCarty's thoughts.