Holland doesn’t see Babcock deal by start of season

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It doesn’t sound like Red Wings coach Mike Babcock will sign a contract extension before Detroit’s first game of the regular season.

“I hate handicapping,” GM Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press, “because you can get a deal one day and, another day, you can’t. But if you said to me, ‘Does it look like we’ll have a deal done between now and next Thursday?’ I don’t think so. But we’ve talked and we’ll continue to talk about it. But we’re not going to talk about it to the press. I think it’s in the best interest of the team not to do that.”

If no extension is agreed upon before next Thursday, when the Wings begin their regular season with a home game against Boston, it had been previously suggested that contract talks would be shelved until the offseason.

But Holland suggested otherwise today.

“He and I travel together,” he said. “We can talk any time we want. [But] it doesn’t do anybody good to talk about it in the press.”

Babcock said recently that he didn’t think this would be his final year with the Red Wings.

Then again, he also said, “If it is, it is.”