Mike Babcock is nearing his highly anticipated decision of where he’ll coach next season, and it could come as early as May 20, he said in an interview with TSN’s Darren Dreger that aired Friday.
Will he re-sign as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings, the team he has been behind the bench with for the last 10 years? Or, will he choose to go elsewhere in the National Hockey League?
“Enough time already. Let’s get on with it,” Babcock told Dreger.
“I bet you by the 20th, I’m going to know what I’m doing. This has been an interesting process. I brought this on myself. I’ve learned a ton about myself. I’ve learned a ton about our relationship. I’ve learned a ton about franchises and the NHL and it’s been great. But to say it’s been fun? You know, your head’s spinning.”
Initially, Babcock and Red Wings general manager Ken Holland agreed to a soft deadline of May 25, as per ESPN.
Earlier this month, Babcock was given permission to speak with other teams, and there are four coaching vacancies in the NHL, including in Buffalo, Philadelphia, Toronto and San Jose.
In the interview with Dreger, Babcock confirmed he does have more than one offer on the table.
“I think about … the Red Wings are an Original Six franchise — a special, special thing. I think about the opportunity to win. I think about my family, about my time in Detroit,” said Babcock.
“Is change important to important to invigorate you? I think about lots of things. I’ve done enough thinking. It’s time to make a decision here pretty quick. I’m a big-picture guy but I’m an immediate gratification guy, too, because I like winning.”
A Stanley Cup champ in Detroit and a two-time Olympic champion as the head coach with Team Canada, Babcock didn’t believe money would be the issue when it came to the Red Wings.
Whether it’s in Detroit, or elsewhere in the NHL, Babcock could be paid handsomely, given his accomplishments as a coach in this league and in international hockey.
“I don’t want to give the idea that I don’t want to be paid. I do want to be paid,” he said.
“But what I’m trying to say is, through Ken and my conversations, that’s not going to be an issue in Detroit.”
And so, we continue to wait. But not for much longer.
“My attitude has always been about the Detroit Red Wings. I want people in Detroit because they want to be in Detroit,” said Holland.
“Obviously, if he’s not the best coach in the game, he’s certainly in a small list of the best coaches in the game, and it’s an opportunity for Mike to decide that we are the best fit.”