Mike Milbury will no longer appear on NBC Sports hockey broadcasts

Mike Milbury in 2005
(Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)

Mike Milbury is out and Mike Babcock is in for NBC Sports’ coverage of the NHL this season.

Milbury had been with the network since 2008 after coaching the Bruins and serving as coach and general manager of the Islanders. He stepped away from broadcasting during the 2020 playoffs after drawing widespread criticism for saying players should be more focused in the league’s coronavirus bubble because there were no women around to serve as a distraction.

“It’s an unfortunate situation with Mike,” executive producer Sam Flood said Monday. “Mike is a friend. He’s a unique talent, and he’s given a lot to NBC and the NHL over the years. It was time to separate for a number of reasons.”


Asked later for details, Flood declined to elaborate. Milbury’s ouster is the second in less than a year for the NHL on NBC, which parted ways with Jeremy Roenick in February after suspending the former player for making inappropriate comments about co-workers.

Scrambling to make up for lost revenue, the NHL has sold naming rights to its divisions. The Kings and Ducks will play in the Honda NHL West Division.

Jan. 5, 2021

In a statement, NBC Sports said: “We are grateful to Mike for all of his contributions to our coverage for 14 years, but he will not be returning to our NHL announce team. We wish him well.”

Milbury in August apologized for his on-air remark about women, saying in a statement: “It was not my intention to disrespect anyone. I was trying to be irreverent and took it a step too far. It was a regrettable mistake that I take seriously.”

Babcock, an NHL head coach for 17 seasons, joins NBC Sports more than a year after being fired by Toronto. The 2008 Stanley Cup-winning coach came under fire late last year for tactics that some considered to be mental abuse.