In the interest of preventing the Detroit Red Wings’ negotiations with coach Mike Babcock from becoming a distraction, GM Ken Holland doesn’t want to deal with them during the season. The two sides will try to come to an agreement before the start of the 2014-15 campaign and if they can’t, then the plan is for them to resume their talks after its conclusion.
Babcock isn’t too worried either way. He’d be happy to get something done this month, but he’ll remain optimistic even if they can’t. However, he’s made some statements over the summer that has fed into the speculation about his future.
“Probably I fueled it a little bit when I shouldn’t have said anything at all,” Babcock admitted, per the Detroit Free Press. “I’m going into my 10th year this year. Our record speaks for itself. I’m real proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. I’m about getting better as a coach, and ideally that’s all going to get looked after.”
Arguably one of the most charged statements he’s made on the matter came in July amid speculation that free agents were actively avoiding Detroit because they didn’t want to work under the tough bench boss.
“If you want to be pushed to be the best that you can be, that’s what we do here,” Babcock said at the time. “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.”
He’s widely regarded as one of the best active coaches and is among the most accomplished too after winning the Stanley Cup and earning two Olympic gold medals with Canada.