Mike Babcock trims decision time, has multiple offers
Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland coach Mike Babcock during an interview with TSN on May 15, 2015. (Screen grab)
The most wanted bench boss in hockey is less than a week from ending months of speculation.
In an interview aired on TSN Friday evening, free-agent-to-be Mike Babcock announced he will make a decision on his coaching future on or before May 20, trimming his original drop-dead date by five days.
“I’ve talked to other teams. I have an offer. Right here,” Babcock said while sitting next to his longtime boss, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.
“I have offers. More than one.”
Although Babcock, the Red Wings’ coach since 2005, did not tip his hand on where he’ll end up – his top non-Detroit suitors reportedly include the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres – he seemed to drop subtle hints relating to staying put.
“When your situation is as good as it is in Detroit, there’s not a better job, there’s a different job,” said Babcock, who currently is at the world championship in Prague, Czech Republic.
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When pressed about appearing to lean towards re-signing with the Wings, Babcock’s response was that he was “leaning to make a good decision.”
Babcock, a 52-year-old with one Stanley Cup ring and two Olympic gold medals, said he shares a “special” bond with Holland and that Detroit has tabled a favourable offer.
“I don’t want Mike to wake up and think that maybe there is a better offer out there,” Holland said. “This is a process to allow him to decide if there is a better fit for him out there and if he should pursue it.
“I’m hoping that we’re the best fit.”
Earlier in the day, Don Cherry offered Babcock advice in a series of back-to-back Twitter posts.
The Hockey Night in Canada icon reminisced about a time when he was the preferred coach on the pro hockey market.
4) Yes, I was the most sought after coach. I was the darling of hockey. Coach of the year, over 600 percent with the Bruins.— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) May 15, 2015
“Take my advice from a guy who has been there Mike,” the 80-year-old tweeted. “Don’t take the money and run. Stay where you are.
“Believe me the grass is not greener.”
14) Kenny Holland and I know he’s working for the best owner in sports, Mr. Illitch. Take my advice from a guy who has been there Mike.— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) May 15, 2015
15) . Don’t take the money and run. Stay where you are. Believe me the grass is not greener.— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) May 15, 2015
The man garnering so much attention admitted he has tired of the sweepstakes he created for himself by declaring his availability months back. Babcock is widely expected to set a new standard for NHL coaching salaries.
“This has been interesting process,” he said. “I brought this upon myself.”
“To say it’s been fun?,” Babcock added rhetorically. “Your head is spinning.”
After that interview, do you think Babcock stays in Detroit?
Yes, just read between the lines
No, he'll probably still leave
Not quite sure...