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Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him

Jul 18, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

Mike Babcock Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings haven’t been able to attract a top-tier free agent in recent years and some have argued that the presence of coach Mike Babcock is partially to blame. As highly regarded as he is, the thinking goes that free agents might simply want to avoid working for the hard-nosed bench boss.

“The way I look at it here, if you don’t want to be coached, don’t come here,” Babcock countered, per the Detroit Free Press, during an interview on Detroit Sports 105.1. “If you want to be pushed to be the best that you can be, that’s what we do here. You know what? The proof is in the pudding.

“If (the Wings) are concerned about (free agents not liking him), then I should coach somewhere else.”

The Red Wings bench boss added that he cares about his players and wants to see them do things the right way.

“We just have the hard meetings,” Babcock said. “We get it out front. Does it piss people off once in a while? Absolutely. But it also leads to behavioral changes and getting things better. So you know what, I’m not apologizing for that stuff at all. I like to be treated honest.”

Babcock only has a year left on his contract with Detroit and has already made it clear that he won’t negotiate during the season. If he were to become a free agent, there would be plenty of suitors interested in landing the Stanley Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist.

  1. hockey412 - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    “If (the Wings) are concerned about (free agents not liking him), then I should coach somewhere else.”

    Well THAT comment certainly won’t trigger any more rumors…

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      Red Wings have been one of the best run organizations in all sports for years. They are the class of the league in how to do things. Losing front office people for no compensation every year for years had probably taken a toll. I’d still put money on the wings to do things the right way.. the west has more chance of teams winning the cup is why top free agents are all going west mostly…that’s why Detroit isn’t getting them and other teams losing their minds on free agent frenzy day..

    • jinx21fan - Jul 18, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      That comment does not have to trigger anything. It all depends on how Holland responds.

  2. raleighcaniac - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Bottom line in pro sports is the head coach needs to be the alpha male in total control of every facet if the team is to be successful; players do not run the roost.

  3. ialtomn - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    In my opinion, its absolutely absurd that players wouldn’t want to play for a guy with as much success as Babcock (1 Cup, 2 Gold Metals, never misses the playoffs). And this is coming from a Wild fan.

    • lakeshoreleafsfan - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      Maybe they do want to pay for Mike Babcock. Players want to play for Mike Babcock; but what they probably don’t want to do is play in Detroit. The city is an economic basketcase, what with the bankruptcy and everything else; it could be just that. And, to me anyway, it could also be why it appears that Mike Babcock wants out of Detroit. His comments lately seem to give that impression

      • grumpyoleman - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        The economic conditions of Detroit probably has nothing to do with it. I doubt many if any of the players live in the city anyway.

      • jensenad - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        Just an FYI, most Red Wings players (and professional athletes that play for Detroit teams) don’t live in Detroit; they live in Oakland county, which is consistently among the most stable economically in the country.

        I can see why outsiders would point to that as being the reason players don’t want to come here, but in reality it’s far from the truth. The only thing about playing in “Detroit” that would deter players is the climate; that’s one reason Stralman chose the Lightning over the Wings.

      • lightning79 - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        @jensenad actually the climate had something to do with Stralman’s decision, but Wings only wanted to go 4 years…Tampa gave him that 5th year.

      • claudegirwho - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        I moved to the Michigan area a year ago and believe me as an outsider it’s really not a pretty thing to come to. To be honest they need to condemn the state of Michigan put a huge fence around it and never let anyone back in again. I really couldn’t give you a single positive about living out here. Michigan the state where your dreams go to die.

      • sunking1 - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        Sounds like a Leafs fan hoping Babcock will come to Toronto

      • claudegirwho - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        I have nothing against mi either but this is by far the last place I would ever try and raise a family although if you want to work in a factory (sweat shop) for 50-60 hours a week this is the place for you!

      • rbbbaron - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        Could you say a little more about these factory/sweatshops you’ve encountered in MI? Whereabouts are you in MI?

      • shoobiedoobin - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        Have you ever actually been there? Because this sounds like what someone would say if all they’ve done is read about it and hear about it.

        Nevermind my previous question-I already know you’ve never been.

      • dtownbeatdown - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        Not one of the Red Wings live in Detroit. Just because you read that the city of Detroit is in shambles does not make or break a players decision. Winning does. And that is what that organization does. There are places such as Royal Oak, Birmingham, West Bloomfield, etc. where these players live in beautiful neighborhoods.

        These players come from Russia and Europe where some of their cities are just as bad as Detroit, don’t be so close minded.

      • dtownbeatdown - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        Please claudegirwho please tell me these sweatshops you speak of. If Michigan is so bad than why did you come here? Most likely your parents or you moved here for a job… which is ironic to say the least. Because why else would you move here just for the hell of it, even though it is so bad? Check out Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Marquette, sleeping bear dunes. Or if you are too lazy to leave metro detroit, there is downtown royal oak, rochester, ferndale, birmingham, etc. GET OUT DOORS YOU SMUCK, Michigan is a beautiful state.

        I can guarantee you do not live in Michigan, or you are just a hermit.

      • K-Mac - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        Either you haven’t been to Detroit or seem to think it’s Beirut. Detroit certainly has economic problems, but do you really think it impacts millionaires who make their money in pro sports? Please.

        Besides, have you ever been to Chicago? New Orleans? Houston? Every big city has parts of town where you don’t want to be.

      • K-Mac - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        I guess claudegirlwho has never been to Traverse City, or Grand Rapids, or Royal Oak, or Mackinac Island, or the UP.

        There’s plenty to like about Michigan. Yeah, the economy is rough and needs a rebound, but spare us your whining. If it’s so terrible, leave.

      • claudegirwho - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        These places you talk of are only places to visit 3 months out of the year and my wife needed to move here for her medical rotations. For the entire first year I was here people non stop ask me what the hell I’m doing here. For the people who do like it here more power to you but I doubt you have ever lived anywhere to see what it’s like in other places to compare.

      • claudegirwho - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        Oh and btw my first 6 months in mi for my job I was driving all over mi sometimes up to a 1,000 miles a week so I’ve seen plenty of it

      • claudegirwho - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        Haha anyone want to meet up and show me some sweets things to do around here besides golf and hockey?

      • shoobiedoobin - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Claude, I’ve been everywhere from Michigan to Tokyo to Calgary back to Toronto.

        I don’t feel any different than any of the other people telling you that you’re wrong.

      • jpelle82 - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        you can kill big deer in Michigan, and they have plenty of them.

      • dtownbeatdown - Jul 18, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        @caludegirwho… You say you can only visit those places 3 months out of the year? We are not Alaska guy. We have 4 seasons. Michigan is so bad that you had to come here for medical care? And you also state we are full of sweat shops, yet for your job you sat on your ass and drove a truck around that probably had AC… yes it is so tough here.

        And the notion of saying nobody has lived or been out of state might be the most naive thing you have said. Just because we are standing up for our state since the media and close minded fools like yourself can’t see the bigger picture, does not mean I wouldn’t love to live in Hawaii. Just because we have Detroit, doesn’t mean the entire state is Detroit. Not to mention there are plenty of cool things to do in Detroit. Please tell me what you could do in your previous state that you can’t do in Michigan?

        Hockey and Golf you say? Yea because we are not surrounded by 5 large bodies of water or anything like that. We fish, hunt, boat, jet ski, hike (porcupine mountains, or one of our many huge forests), camp, love our sports, huge beer state, don’t like beer? That is fine we have plenty of wineries. We also love to party, somebody be this mans friend and show him a good time. I am sick of the naysayers.

      • blackhawk28 - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:09 PM

        i love Michigan, ive lived here my whole life here, sure i travel around the states. it frustrates me the people view Michigan as a violent broke state. i do live in Oakland county, witch is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation. nothing to do in Michigan if you don’t like the cold…… enjoy the lakes, the dunes, baseball. fishing, there is so much to do in just the summer.
        those sweat shops, i work 40 hr a week at a factory know as Vaughn Hockey. other shops, um how about the big 3!!!!!
        hockey player want to win they come to detroit to win, detroit is honestly not that bad, just need to know where it is safe the same as in all major cities.

    • shoobiedoobin - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      What you don’t hear in the media is that if you want to find dangerous neighborhoods, you have to go looking for them. Downtown is very safe, and so are many neighborhoods around it. True ghettos are thankfully out of the way.

      What people think when they hear Detroit is a Gaza-like warzone the minute you cross the border. It’s hilarious to anyone who lives there or nearby.

      • K-Mac - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        I grew up in Michigan and go to Detroit at least once a year for baseball games or concerts or something. There are parts of the city that are heartbreaking, no doubt. But it’s not **as** bad as people think. I love going to ball games and getting over to Royal Oak when I’m in town.

        Every big city has rough neighborhoods. Hell, I recently moved out of Indianapolis. That town is getting a reputation for violence unlike any other, which is both shocking and disappointing.

      • shoobiedoobin - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        It’s true. There are a couple streets I’ve been down in Detroit that are worse than anything I’ve ever seen. But like I said you have to go out of your way.

        People also talk about other people leaving Detroit. Know what I found after all these years? It’s made the people a joy to be around. They all are at home, as opposed to the away from home feeling that entire cities can begin to let seep in, thus ruining them. Everyone is nice and treats you like family, and they’re thankful for what they have.

      • pr0jecktpat - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        Detroit definitely has it’s problems, but I agree people really blow up the danger aspect. Like all major cities they have their bad areas, you just avoid those areas.

  4. teamworkdoc - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    This is just innuendo from other teams and their GMs. They are trying to talk smack to bring the Wings down. The Red Wings are the best organization in pro hockey. Babcock is a great coach. They make playoffs, they win trophies – enough said!

    • raleighcaniac - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Don’t see how you can ‘thumbs down’ a team that has made the playoffs 23 straight years. I’m no Wings fan but there’s no denying they are as pro an organization as it gets…

      • dueman - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        I don’t think that people are giving the thumbs down because they don’t think that the Wings are a “pro” organization. I think that they are disagreeing with the “This is just innuendo from other teams and their GMs. They are trying to talk smack to bring the Wings down” statement, and they should, because to think that, is rather silly! teamworkdoc also never said that the Wings were a “pro” organization. What he actually said was that they were the “best organization in pro hockey” which I’m sure some fans of other organizations took offensively…

    • avscup - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      The LA Kings would dispute that. What have the Red Wings done lately?

      By what criteria?

      • skoivu10 - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        Well the Kings have won the cup 2 times in 3 years and been to the WCF three years straight. There’s no denying that they are one of the best, if not the best team in the league right now, back and forth between maybe Chicago. However, the Kings have only made the final 3 times and only have two cups. Considering they’ve been around a lot longer than some other teams in the league, that’s not that impressive of a run. Granted the wings have been around a lot longer, but when you think old time, great clubs, at least in history, you think Detroit or Montreal, not LA. I mean they did have Gretzky, but they traded for him, Dionne or Robitaille are more relevant by the history of the club. In fact, all my die hard Kings fan friends worship Luc over Wayne. The wings, by contrast have Howe, Abel, Yzerman, Delvecchio, Lindsay, Lidstrom, Sawchuk. While the wings have been pretty mediocre recently, it still doesn’t take away that overall, the Wings are a better hockey club than the kings. Granted they’ve been around longer, but the Kings overall just haven’t had that much success until recently.

      • avscup - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        While I don’t disagree at all, it’s a case of what have you done lately. Wings are ONE of the great teams in NHL history but not THE great team. PERIOD!

        23 straight SC playoffs but only 4 cups? Better than most but not the greatest.

      • elrock7 - Jul 18, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        Red Wings are not the power they used to be. I hope Wing fans don’t start sounding like Hab fans, who are still bragging about how great they were in the 70s . They have won nothing for like 23 years.

        No one fears the Wings.

      • polegojim - Jul 18, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        Yeah elrock…right… except the teams they’ve bumped from playoff spots for 23 years, and those they’ve eliminated during each Cup chase.

        Crawl back under the rock

  5. Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    It gets annoying how the media keeps asking the same question over and over and over again, fishing for sound bites. Toronto has to deal with that all the time too… it gets really old really fast and does nothing to help a team.

    • lakeshoreleafsfan - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Isn’t that the truth. It looks and sounds like Detroit is beginning to experience what is, and what has been for decades, another weekday in Toronto

  6. rbbbaron - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    This guy is getting more and more agitated by the day.

  7. datsyukdominates - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Babcock and the Wings will both be better served by him moving on. He lost the dressing room last year and it’s likely he won’t regain it now. He’s a great coach but his time has passed in Detroit. I wish they would just admit it now, bring in Blashill (which will happen) so we can just start fresh now instead of waiting until next year.

    • rbbbaron - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      He lost the dressing room? What do you have to support that? Babcock said he was having the time of his coaching life last season. As best I could tell, he loved working with the kids and the kids enjoyed working with him. That he might’ve lost some of the washed up bums who Holland keeps sloughing off onto him, I can fully believe.

    • blinkyhowe - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      D.D..unless you sat in a Wings dressing room you have no idea what he did. Based on his ability to get a team of rookies, injured vets, avg D men and an inconsistent goalie to the playoffs i would say your wrong. Time will tell if he can drag another Wings team to the playoffs given Holland’s inability to add quality D men or a verteran top 6 forward. Is he a great coach? Yes. Is Blashill a good coach? Based on what i see in GR and read i would say yes. But i have just gone to Griffins games..i haven’t sat in the room and listened to his pre game.

      Bottom line Mike’s resume says Stanley Cup and Blas’s says Calder. Until M.B leaves or the Wings totally tank i will support him.

      • datsyukdominates - Jul 18, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        I don’t expect to change your minds, but I have contacts in both locker rooms and I can tell you that Babcock’s message isn’t getting through and many of the players are tired of him. Blashill is similar but fresher and sees the game from a slightly more modern point of view. He gets every ounce out of his players, and people within the organization like his disciplined yet more positive outlook over Babcock’s. Not to mention, Babcock has his favorites (Cleary, Abdelkader, Quincey) who are given substantial playing time over younger, better players which hurts the team and many of the good, veteran guys are now expressing internally how they believe that hurts the team.

        Vote down as much as you like, but I can tell you that most people in Detroit and GR know the writing is on the wall…

  8. kfraser91 - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Im afraid it is going to be either Babcock or Holland getting the contract next year. Giving it to Holland could be the worst mistake the Illitch’s ever make

    • rbbbaron - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      You think they individually sense that? I fear the same, as Holland’s in the position of relative power and has longer standing with the family…but they might not have to make the decision anyways given that it’s sounding like Babcock has reached the point of indifference.

      • lakeshoreleafsfan - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        I know for sure that Mike Babcock is entering his final contract year with the Red Wings, but I think I read somewhere sometime ago that Ken Holland himself is entering his final contract year (correct me if I’m wrong) and it got me thinking that since Detroit barely made into the playoffs last season, and the disinterest of players wanting to go to Detroit, maybe neither both Babcock and Holland wont be back after next season. or depending on where the Red Wings are In the standings during the season, maybe both will be dismissed during the season. Not saying it will happen, or should…but it’s still possible
        But I would say, as of now, currently, Babcock’s days as Red Wings head coach are getting shorter; as I said before, his comments lately would imply he wants out. As for Holland, it may not be his fault that he can’t get players to sign with the team (with Detroit’s economic mess etc.) but after 17 years as GM (10 years for Babcock as coach) maybe the owners should consider this a time for change

  9. purpleguy - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Seems to me the fit with other teams (whether going home or playing opportunities) has just been better for most of the FAs that have avoided Detroit more than anything. Also, the team is no longer the juggernaut it once was, so the older stars looking for a deep playoff run likely look elsewhere. I’d say those are the reasons more than the coach or Detroit’s lousy economy.

  10. oquintero99 - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Holland is the one making most of the personnel decisions. I think the front office needs a shake up. I’m not sure how the scouting department is doing though. But Holland’s signings have been questionable lately.

    • blinkyhowe - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      That is the real question. Who are the scouts and can they continue to sign quality kids picking later in rounds. We all talk about Mantha, T.T, DeKeyser and Jurco but Nill was here then. How much was his influence worth? The trouble is that for over 5 yrs after they drafted Howard until Brendan Smith they really drafted nobody. Kindl and Abby? That’s it? And Nill was here during that time.

      The drafts have been better since T.T and Jurco. But who was the guy voice in those picks and Mrazek? Some say Jiri Fischer..but who knows? I’ve always been a supporter of Kenny but i would say calling his signings questionable over the last few years is kind. Alfie was a Z freebe. Brunner a wash. The rest? ugh…..

      • rbbbaron - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        I agree with most of what you say, though I’d point out that in between Howard and Smith was Franzen and Helm (and to a much lesser extent, Shawn Matthias– otherwise known as the key piece to the Luongo trade, lol).
        I would say the other thing we don’t really know is whether or not Holland’s penchant for letting younger players over gestate in the minors is a good thing on the whole. For some guys it seems obvious that they need to refine their game in order to prepare for the NHL-style of play; with the kids that seems to have been the right approach (though how much of that is a function of Blashill specifically?). My hunch is that for some others it could be utterly discouraging and demotivating. These guys are usually highly competitive people and protecting them from NHL competition and responsibility could have a stunting effect. There are some guys who conceivably never blossomed because they could never see the light at the end of the tunnel for themselves. Unfortunately we’ll never be able to get reliable counterfactuals for this kind of situation.
        At any rate, I’ll just say that it gripped my $#it to watch Holland pile on the high-priced veteran forwards last year after the way the youth performed in the latter part of the 2013 season and playoffs.

      • oquintero99 - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        What’s really interesting is that Nill is making a lot of good moves in Dallas both veterans and young guys. Wonder how much input did Nill really have with choosing players back in Detroit.

  11. smaktalker - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    I am so sick of hearing Deadwing fans cry about there team. The reason this team is screwed up is because they can no longer buy Stanley cups. There was a time when they were built from the ground up. Hence Yzerman, Federov etc. Datsuk and Zetterburg were their last real drafted players. For years they all they did was gobble up free agents and won cups. Most of the cups in the 90’s were because they all star teams. Did they draft Shanny ,Hull, Chelios Robitaille etc? Now they’re payin for it. In the last few years they hardly bothered to Draft player they just bought the best free agents. Now they see the problem with that long term. Yeah you had a dynasty at the price of neglecting the draft. Now free agents won’t play there for whatever reason and they are screwed. Boo Hoo!

    • juansy - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Every team has to add a few free agents to their nucleus. The wings never neglected the draft. It may seem like that because they were always drafting at the bottom of the rounds, but I don’t see many other teams drafting a Datsyuk 171st, a Zetterberg in the 7th rd. They also won the Calder Cup last year and it wasn’t because they neglected the draft. If you want to hate the deadwings that’s fine just try to make sense with your arguments. I understand your hate (victimized by the DeadWings for so long) just not your argument. Nobody neglects the draft and goes to the playoffs 23 straight years!

      • smaktalker - Jul 18, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        And you point is what? They won a Calder Trophy ? That isnt a Stanley and where are these wonder children why not call them up when they were in dire staits during the playoff. Uh No!

    • buffbry - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      are you an idiot.

      Kings didn’t draft Greene,Mitchell,Gaborik,Carter,Richards,Williams,Stoll,Regehr,Muzzin,Scutlz,Mcnabb

      Hawks didn’t draft
      Sharp,Hossa,Leddy,Oduya,Rozsival,Handzus,Carcillo,Emery,

      Bruins didn’t draft
      Kelly,Chara,Paille,Seidenberg,Campbell,Horton,Boychuk,Ference,Kaberle, Recchi,Peverly, Ryder,Wheeler and you can even count Seguin if you want since it was essentially a trade for kessel

      Penguins didn’t draft
      Adams,Dupuis,Kunitiz,Guerin,Gonchar,Fedetenko

      All the last few cup winners sucked for 10 years and didn’t draft half their teams loser. Wings didn’t suck for 10 years, won a cup in 08 with draft picks for the most part and never sucked for 10 years.

      Good post though, you def know what your talking about, PTHTHTHT

      • smaktalker - Jul 18, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        Obviously your a Detroit fan cause you cant read. I said the cups in the 90’s were bought. and they were. The teams your talkin about did the buy your team when it became necesary, DUE to the REDWINGS always buying all stars. All those teams you speak of have done this in the last 5 -6 yrs idiot. Following what the Redwings already layed down as a plan to win cups. Fool

      • buffbry - Jul 18, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        and moron back to you, did you not see the list of teams from the last 5 cups, all brought in players the same way. Good try though. Your a douchebag and your logic is douchebagery.

    • buffbry - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      Federov etc. Datsuk and Zetterburg

      Fedorov Datsyuk Zetterberg also you ignorant F**K

      • smaktalker - Jul 18, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        And you had better escape back into you bottle of ripple or nightrain whatever they drink in Detroit. I said they drafted Federov and Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Now why don’t you name another 10 draft picks within the last 6 years that assisted them in the playoffs last year. Or had any impact last year besides Tater .Moron.

      • buffbry - Jul 18, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        1st of all you still spelled his name wrong. FedOrov

        Nyquist, Sheahan, Helm, Abdelkator, Jurco,Smith,Kronwall,Howard,Franzen,Ericsson

        there’s your 10 pal

  12. blomfeld - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    YOU’RE WRONG BABCOCK AND YOU KNOW IT !!!

    The bottom line is that Mike Babcock needs to zip his trap once and for all. What he did in Sochi back in February was ‘wrong’ and everyone knew that at the time, including Babcock himself. And now the fool is ‘wrong’ again with these ridiculous utterances. Suffice it to say that sooner or later Babcock will have to pay for his misguided ways, no two ways about it.

    “Don’t ever let Babcock see your car break down” … Nicklas Lidström

  13. packerswin96 - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Ya, why would any sane NHL’er want to play for the best coach in hockey?

  14. snipedanglecelly13 - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Don’t listen to Claude, obviously this person didn’t move to the nicer parts of michigan such as Oakland county area…Troy, novi, northville, Bloomfield, commerce…five of the nicest cities around. For the most part this is where the wings live, they don’t live in Detroit. So Detroit the city itself is NOT the reason we don’t attract free agents

    • lakeshoreleafsfan - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Do you really believe that outsiders (people outside of Michigan or outside the U.S.) are going to differentiate Oakland County from Wayne County, where Detroit is? No. That’s like saying if Toronto was in Detroit’s position, but there isn’t a problem with players coming here because they live in Mississauga, Oakville, or Oshawa. Or if New York City was in Detroit’s position, but there isn’t a problem with players going there because most of them live on Long Island. All that is irrelevant to people. The places in the GTA (including Toronto, Mississauga etc.) are connected to the city one way or another; just like Oakland County is connected to Detroit (doesn’t matter if it’s directly or indirectly) because it’s still part of Metropolitan Detroit. So, there may be players that do not want to go play for the Red Wings because they hear (via media, fairly or not) that 40% of Detroit’s streetlights don’t work, and that people’s running water have been shut off because of unpaid bills. People are not going to separate Detroit from Oakland County (how many outsiders you think have even heard of Oakland County, Michigan) so, when players hear the Red Wings, they hear Detroit; they don’t hear (or think of) Oakland County. That’s it

  15. tmoore4075 - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Again with the no free agents in recent years? Forget that they got there top two targets a year ago. Alfie chose Detroit over Boston and Weiss chose them over a number of teams. I know people will say Weiss got hurt well that’s nice to say in hindsight and it’s only been one year. I guess we just gloss over last year just to make their point.

    And to people going after Holland, you think he makes decisions in a bubble? Babcock sits in his house until training camp? If he didn’t want Quincey back he wouldn’t be back. We know Babcock wanted Cleary back last year. People just want to knock the Wings down. OMG three guys chose to play elsewhere. Guys who had 10, 15, 20 teams after them and they should just chose the Wings? Wings are still a good team but there are a lot of good teams so the players need to make a choice for themselves. Its not the Wings, it’s the players making the best choice for them.

    • rbbbaron - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      “Weiss chose them over a number of teams” You got any info about what those teams were offering at the time? Most of the teams interested in Weiss were thinking they could get him on the cheap as a reclamation project. Holland outbid them (big time)

    • smaktalker - Jul 18, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      Due Seriously? They went to the Eastern conference ,which is way weaker thwn the Western Conference . AND THEY STILL FAILED! This team is a shadow of it’s former self . But lie the Journey song ‘Dont Stop Believein!”

    • smaktalker - Jul 18, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      Now I’m gonna catch up with ya’ll at the end of next season when the DEADWINGS miss the playoffs or get bounced in the 1st round.

  16. isphet71 - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    I get it. Change is hard. You have to constantly change to get the most out of yourself. Some guys just aren’t up to it; they would rather just be who they are, not work as hard, and be 90% of what they could be because that last 10% is hard to acheive. Babs doesn’t really let guys do that.

  17. ducksk - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    I love Babs. Old school. Tough as a nail. If a prima Donna don’t want to go there F’em. We’ll be fine.

  18. dtownbeatdown - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Smaktalker… 8 years after the salary cap we have been to the cup finals twice… and won it once. And we have made the playoffs each one of those years.

    Please tell me how using the overused term “dead wings” can be used? We still find a way to win, and everyone still wants to be us. Look at every successful team of late… the have all followed the Red Wing way. We might not be as dominant of late, but we will get there. Have to rebuild at some point. You stay douchey.

    • smaktalker - Jul 18, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      And how many times have you made it out of the first round within the past five of those years .Find abetter argument. There are alot of teams that go but don’t win. What you won 1 cup in how long. And this is a Dynasty ? Quit deluding yourself the Redwings are done for a while.

      • dtownbeatdown - Jul 18, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        You sir are a moron. In the past 20 years who has won the most cups? I will wait…

        And yes a team that makes the playoffs 21 years straight and has won 11 stanley cups is in fact a dynasty. And the most successful American team by a long shot. And to answer your question about being knocked out in the first round, twice in the past 5 years. Still have a 2 cup appearances in the past 7 seasons. Anything else turd burglar?

  19. snipedanglecelly13 - Jul 18, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    DTOWN, I applaud you! Being a lifelong michigan resident, your comments have been spot on! Not the greatest state but we are definitely not the worst like ohio lmao

  20. cliffatola - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    I understand that the NHL is a professional sport and there is a lot of money to be made, maybe not as other pro sports in North America but still a lot of money. I have been a fan for years now and for all of the good that hockey players do in their communities both in the cities in which they play and their hometown as well the “prima donna” factor is slowly creeping into the NHL. It has been more prevalent in other leagues and the NHL has the least of it but it is there. For crying out loud they are trading coaches in the NBA, I hope it never gets to that point but I suspect we will see some outlandish stuff inside of the next decade.

  21. vuk1z - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    “Last year, he didn’t bring anything,” speaking of Cleary, Babcock told Detroit Sports 105.1 radio.
    And it wasn’t just Cleary.
    Did he realize this in retrospect something we (non professionals, just fans of the game) all knew at the time or did he deliberately often play someone who didn’t bring anything much more than someone who brought lots? Why?
    Either way he is an idiot.

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