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What’s next for Mike Babcock?

Mike Babcock to leave Detroit

With Mike Babcock free to speak to any teams wishing to hire him as a head coach, the frenzy around him leaving as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings is getting crazier and crazier.  Mike Babcock is the coach currently in the NHL with the most consecutive seasons with the same team. Babcock has been with the Wings since 2005.  His previous team being with the Anaheim Ducks. Now 52, Babcock is faced with a situation where he may want a different challenge and a new organization. Money is not an issue with Babcock, who took the Wings to the Stanley Cup in 2008.

At season’s end, Mike Babcock declared he was going to take the next couple weeks to clear his mind, consult with his wife and come up with a decision that will work for him and his family. The fact that the Detroit Red Wings have given him the green light to speak to other teams doesn’t signify he won’t be back behind the Red Wings’ bench. But it sure adds to the speculations.

It is thought that many teams would be interested in hiring Babcock. Teams that first come to mind are the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Edmonton Oilers, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Buffalo Sabres, the San Jose Sharks, the Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils. According to Sportsnet.ca, Elliott Friedman, he stated on Saturday when he interviewed Babcock that same morning that we shouldn’t assume, Babcock’s days in Detroit are numbered.

“No one should automatically assume I am leaving Detroit.”

That was Mike Babcock’s opening line when Friedman spoke to him Saturday morning, and here’s why he believes that it is true: There are teams out there saying, “We want him, but what happens if we don’t get him?” And that could be the sticky point. What would be the “plan B” of any team desperate to pursue Mike Babcock.  It is believed that Mike Babcock was heading to the World Championship on the 11 and would be back on the 17th May. Detroit’s self-imposed deadline is the 25th. This will allow Mike Babcock to visit other teams GM and be interviewed in that time frame.  This means, Philadelphia, San Jose, Buffalo and Edmonton will need to make a solid pitch to persuade Babcock that their grass is greener in their pasture.

Mike Babcock may prove to be the hottest commodity to acquire during this off-season, which is a first. His hiring or non-hiring will trigger a snowball effect on other vacant coaches positions since many are waiting to see if they can acquire him.

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