Mike Babcock has one season remaining on his contract with the Detroit Red Wings and is the longest tenured coach in the NHL.
Babcock is the winningest coach in Detroit Red Wings history, after passing Scotty Bowman and Jack Adams this season, and Ken Holland has made signing him to a contract extension a priority in the off-season.
Ansar Khan from Mlive picked up this quote from Ken Holland:
Holland added, “I want him back behind the bench.”
Most Red Wings fans side with Holland here and want to see Babcock behind the Detroit bench for a long time. He is arguably the best coach in the NHL, won a Stanley Cup with Detroit, and keep the playoff streak alive through a rough season.
Mike Babcock is not worried about signing an extension and said it is not a priority for him because he is comfortable with everyone in the organization.
Ansar Khan was able to pick up this quote from Babcock:
“I’m real comfortable with the owner and the manager; that’s not a concern for me one bit,” Babcock said after the team photo and locker cleanout at Joe Louis Arena. “When you’re at the stage of your career that I am, I’m real comfortable with whatever they want. I want them to be happy. If they’re not happy then I’m not happy. I have no problem. I can go year to year.”
It is a little worrying to hear that a new contract is not a priority for Babcock, but it is nothing new for Detroit. In Scotty Bowman’s last few seasons in Detroit he would sign one-year contracts and the while Nicklas Lidstrom was not a coach he signed one-year contracts in his last couple seasons, as well.
The difference between Babcock and Scotty or Lidstrom is that Babs in not on his way to retirement. Babcock has plenty more coaching years left in him and it is not often a Gold Medal and Stanley Cup winning coach could hit the market. If he became available at least twenty teams would have immediate interested in his services, while a few others would take a long, hard look at their coaching staffs.
I trust Holland, Mr. Illich, and Babcock will get together and get a contract extension sorted before the start of next season.
After voting let us know why it is or why it is not a good idea to sign Babcock to an extension.