Report: Just Sabres, Leafs formally file paperwork to speak to Babcock

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There’s a long list of cities that have been cited as possible destinations for Mike Babcock, but with the race to get him likely approaching its conclusion, there might be just three teams in the hunt. The Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs are the only teams to have filed the paperwork to reach out to the bench boss, per Sportsnet. He also might end up re-signing with the Detroit Red Wings.

It’s worth emphasizing that there’s still time for other teams to file the paperwork and attempt to lure Babcock, but not a lot of it. Babcock recently predicted that he’d know what he was doing by the 20th.

In the case of Buffalo or Toronto, Babcock would be inheriting a team in the early stages of a rebuild, although the Sabres are expected to get a boost from selecting a potential franchise cornerstone in Jack Eichel with the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Detroit on the other hand is a team that’s in position to make the playoffs next season, although its future is still unclear.

There’s certainly promising youngsters in Detroit, but as Babcock knows, replacing the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in the not too distant future will be a monumental challenge.