Each summer there’s a rush for free agency. Next summer’s biggest prize could be Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.
Babcock and Red Wings GM Ken Holland each have one year remaining on their contracts with the team and while he’s heard all the stories about teams desiring to have him behind their bench, he tells Yahoo! Sports’ Nick Cotsonika he’s happy where he is now. He also understands what the process will be like to re-sign him.
“I have a contract for a year; Ken Holland has a contract for a year,” Babcock said. “I assume the sequence of events are, they deal with Ken Holland first, and then they deal with Mike Babcock. But I’m real comfortable, and I mean that, and I’ve said it. I’m on record. I’m comfortable in my situation. It’s not like I need someone to do anything right now. I’m fine because I think our team’s going in the right direction again.”
Babcock added he’s open to “anything” when it comes to discussing an extension. He also added that even if he was fired he wouldn’t look for a new job because his oldest daughter is set to graduate from high school next summer. That’s not to say he won’t want to explore a new opportunity after that, however.
It’s good for Babcock to say all this and cool everyone off that’s kicked around the idea of stealing him away to be their coach. Fans and media in Toronto, Pittsburgh, and anywhere else with a coaching vacancy have kicked around the idea of bringing Babcock in. But a year from now, the rumors and speculation could be at an all-time high.
Related: Babcock says coaching Detroit is ‘pretty hard to beat’
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…