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Holland doesn’t want Babcock’s contract status to be a distraction

Sep 4, 2014, 1:55 PM EDT

Mike Babcock AP

Will Mike Babcock sign a contract extension to remain head coach of the Detroit Red Wings past 2014-15?

If he does, it won’t be during the season — it’ll either be before or after.

Or never.

“Our team doesn’t need an everyday Mike Babcock watch all year long,” GM Ken Holland told ESPN.com this morning. “We are going to talk in September and we’ll see where we go.”

Writes ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

If high-profile teams like Toronto and Pittsburgh struggle this season, you better believe the Babcock talk will intensify. Unfortunately for the Wings, it’s going to be a storyline all year long unless he signs an extension before the season, because you know his name will be the first to pop up in the NHL markets where things are going poorly.

Plan B for the Red Wings, should Babcock leave next summer, is potentially their AHL head coach Jeff Blashill. Or at least that’s one of the options. Other NHL teams contacted Detroit about wanting to talk to Blashill this summer and the answer was “No,” according to sources.

LeBrun makes a good point about Toronto, where Randy Carlyle is most definitely on the hot seat. And the big-money Maple Leafs could certainly make Babcock a massive offer, should they be granted the opportunity next summer.

Meanwhile, poor Mike Johnston is already reading speculation about his job security, and he hasn’t even coached a game for the Penguins.

Related: Under Pressure: Mike Johnston

  1. snipedanglecelly13 - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    My hopes for Babcock to return aren’t very high, I hope we can resign him but I don’t think he will

  2. tmoore4075 - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    I hope he signs soon just to not hear all the stuff during the season. If the Pens fire their coach after one season to try and get Babcock, I will lose so much respect for them. If they were planning for Babcock, they should have kept Disco Dan for one more season. TO is a possibility but I’d stay away from there if I were him. That’s where players and coaches go to die these days. Again I hope it’s done soon just for the sake of not having to hear the rumors.

  3. rbbbaron - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    I get the feeling that there won’t be an offer extended this month. Holland risks losing face in what is sure to be a rejection from Babcock.

    • cheliostwin - Sep 4, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      Reading between the lines, I’m pretty sure Holland has already extended an offer or two. Babcock is probably trying to get as much salary as he can, and probably bonus money for making the playoffs or winning the Stanley Cup. Holland doesn’t want to pay Babcock too much (this is a business, of course, so he wants to control expenses) but he realizes several other teams would be willing to pay him handsomely.
      This is basically a staring match, with each side waiting for the other to blink. I’m expecting Babcock to sign a new contract before the end of September.

      • rbbbaron - Sep 4, 2014 at 10:02 PM

        Any “offers” up to now have been probably been soft and not explicit. I don’t think it’s the money that’s the sticking point. More relevant is Babcock’s “what have you done for me lately?” attitude, where he holds himself to a high level of accountability and expects the same of those around him (as of late, Holland hasn’t really delivered on his end). The working relationship between Babcock and Holland has obviously seen better days.

  4. hieronymous27 - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Can’t envision Babcock signing on as coach of the Maple Leafs. His relationship with Brendan Shanahan deteriorated towards the end of Shanny’s time in Detroit. Having to answer to one of his former players just does not likely, especially since Babcock will have no shortage of offers to sort through if he does not re-sign with the Red Wings.

  5. corpsman123 - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Babs not resigning would be a huge hit the the wings. I think he will resign (says my wishful thinking). If he signs with the pens though I’m going to lose my mind… anyone but Pittsburgh…

    • hockey412 - Sep 4, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      I can’t see Pittsburgh doing that. They’ll still be paying Bylsma to not coach, then will have to Johnston for the year plus the next year (3 year deal), and would also be paying Babcock, who will most likely be rather expensive. Doesn’t seem realistic, and barring a total collapse, firing two coaches in two years isn’t all that endearing to fans either.

  6. shanekelleytx - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Aside from a huge contract offer from another team, why would he leave Detroit? He’s had success there, they have young talent, and management is committed to winning every year.

  7. pjblake2redwings - Sep 4, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    He will not sign with Toronto.. His boss is going to be an ex player in Shanny and they didnt even get along then let alone with the suspension police himself is Babs boss.. He loooves Crosby but I dont think he would go there just for 1 player..

  8. 4everwingsfan - Sep 4, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    I don’t see Babcock going anywhere. He has always talked about how much he loves the city, the owners, and the hunting and fishing. He’s a red wing for a long time!!

  9. tmoore4075 - Sep 5, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    “The working relationship between Babcock and Holland has obviously seen better days.”

    Not a big assumption there is it? Man fans can make big leaps these days. I can’t fault him if he wants to look but is there a place, that will have a coaching vacancy, that is better than Detroit? They have good young players coming along, veterans who can still play right now anyways, and great ownership who will spend money. Toronto isn’t a good situation currently and while it’s a challenge, people have pointed to the Shanny thing plus better than Detroit? Pitt I doubt will happen. Chicago isn’t firing Q, LA isn’t firing Sutter and even if they did Stevens is there next guy. I mean what other places are better than Detroit right now and in the future? I know I have my fan glasses on too, but I don’t see where there might be openings that will be a better situation than Detroit.

    • rbbbaron - Sep 5, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      “‘The working relationship between Babcock and Holland has obviously seen better days.’… Man fans can make big leaps these days.”
      Follow the hockey press much? It’s not like Babcock was workin’ it to get a right-handed blueliner or anything. It’s not like Holland initially refrained from smothering the rumor that maybe free agents were spurning Detroit because Babcock is too demanding or anything. It’s not like Babcock is widely recognized as the best coach in the business while Holland, in the context of his massive flops in recent years, is increasingly having to rest on his laurels from yesteryear, right?

      If you can’t pick up on nuance, that’s fine.

  10. LampyB - Sep 5, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Rbbbaron you are ridiculous. So quick to jump on the anti-holland bandwagon that you’ve even started believing Babs is on board as well. You’re like a woman that gets her news from People magazine. You have no idea.

    Babs isn’t going anywhere, he’ll get paid well and sign an extension before the month is over.

    • rbbbaron - Sep 5, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      I’m so quick to jump the anti-Holland bandwagon? What the hell do you know? How about being quick to accuse someone of being “quick to jump on the anti-holland bandwagon?” I am actually a reformed Holland-apologist. I was willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, endure that kind of masochism, until I got the details of the Weiss signing. You and all the other loyalists can enjoy living in the past (and the glorious “future” that no other club has but Detroit, lol)

      No, actually I just follow the wings and what happens in the press. Again, it’s pretty obvious if you have a brain and can pay attention. Both guys are professionals, but professionals aren’t always perfect in concealing issues. If you too can’t pick up on nuance, that’s fine. But just see if you can put together any kind of argument for me.
      And thanks for your bold prediction, noted and well-fit to be bludgeoned with.

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