Contrary to a report in the Windsor Star, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock insists he’s not on the verge of signing a contract extension.
From Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports:
And from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press:
If Babcock doesn’t re-sign with the Wings — and we’re not saying he won’t — Toronto and Pittsburgh have been speculated as possible landing spots for the longest-tenured bench boss in the NHL.
But would Babcock see any better chance of winning a championship with the Maple Leafs? Maybe he could negotiate more power in player-personnel decisions, but would that be enough? He obviously likes the direction the Wings are headed, recently calling them “the best team we’ve had here since ’09.”
As for Pittsburgh, doesn’t the job Mike Johnston has done through the first third of the season make it less likely there will be another new coach for Sidney Crosby and company?
Granted, it’s all about the playoffs for the Penguins; maybe Babcock will wait until the postseason is over before he makes his decision.
Update: Click here for video of Babcock denying the report and being all gruff about it.