The Malik Report
Mickey Redmond spoke with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Drew and Marc on Tuesday afternoon, and even the late-breaking news that the Sabres may have offered Mike Babcock a $50 million deal didn't change Mickey's belief that Babcock will remain in Detroit, though the money got repeated, "Holy jumpin'" utterances from the Mickster:
Have fun with these:
Will update with LeBrun's Babcock story, which will hit shortly.
Update: Here's LeBrun:
added at 5:05 PM:
added at 5:08 PM:
Update: Here's St. James in text form:
from John Vogle of the Buffalo News,
Mike Babcock is scheduled to meet with his family Tuesday night to decide his future. A source in the NHL coaching fraternity predicts the decision will be Buffalo.
The Sabres’ contract offer is far better than Detroit’s reported extension of $3.25 million per season, so much so that it will alleviate any concerns Babcock’s family has about leaving Michigan, the source told The Buffalo News on Tuesday.
Though Babcock was set to have one last talk with Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland on Tuesday, Detroit was not believed to be interested in joining a bidding war. Babcock is finishing a deal that pays $2 million per year.
Money is merely one factor in Babcock’s decision, but it’s an important one on several levels.
Among Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's "30 Thoughts":
13. We are less than 48 hours from the conclusion of Babwatch. What have we learned so far? The market for Babcock wasn’t as wide-ranging as we thought.
Edmonton’s decision to go hard after McLellan altered things. But the more we look back at everything that’s happened, the more I wonder about the toll this process is taking on the Red Wings.
Just about every conversation about his future includes some reference to, “It is so strange to see Detroit involved in this.” The Ilitches and Ken Holland have a certain way they prefer to do business — as quietly and as dignified as possible. This has been very different, and I can’t imagine they are comfortable with it. Is there any way this damages the relationship?
This is probably going to sound campy, but somebody needs to say it out loud:
Of all the comments I've read about Mike Babcock's coaching search--especially those written in context of acceptance that the Red Wings won't be making massive personnel changes this summer due to a crappy free agent class and Ken Holland's reluctance to make trades--Wings fans seem to be resigned to the concept of slow, steady prospect development as long as Babcock either leaves or comes back somewhat changed by his daliances with other teams.
There's a strong sense that Babcock's message has gotten stale--with the fans--and that whatever Babcock's learned during his interviews with the Sabres, Maple Leafs, Blues and Sharks must be applied to help improve the Wings and perhaps help improve the media relations of someone who's really, really starting to grate on the fans' nerves because his confrontational, information-war act has gotten tiresome.
The vulnerability and out-and-out honesty of someone who's generally paid to skirt the truth has been tremendously refreshing, but fans are more than willing to put up with same old Babs in the press if the man applies some changes to the team's game plan systems and player personnel decisions.
What do you think Babcock would "need to change" to come back from his job search as a better-prepared and plain old better Red Wings coach?
Updated 11x at 1:53 PM: Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Denny Kapp has something of a scoop this morning:
The Score's Justin Cuthbert offers this set of quips from the interview...
It's a tale of two prospects this morning:
At the NHL-ready end of the spectrum, MLive's Brendan Savage penned an article about Landon Ferraro's late-season and playoff games with the Wings and the possibility that he might make the roster next year...
The 6-foot, 186-pound Ferraro returned to Grand Rapids and enjoyed the best season of his four-year pro career with 27 goals, 42 points and a plus-14 rating in 70 games. That left him third on the Griffins' scoring chart and his 27 goals trailed only Teemu Pulkkinen, whose 34 led the AHL.
Ferraro credited the Red Wings' system with helping him enjoy the best season of his budding career.
"It's been four years of playing in it and it's six I've been a part of it," said Ferraro, who was taken with the 32nd pick in the draft after scoring 32 goals for the WHL's Red Deer Rebels in 2008-09. "You learn a lot and they give you everything to succeed and for me, I needed another year in Grand Rapids and I couldn't be happier. Last year, I came up and when I got called up I wasn't very confident. Just tried to do my best and this year I came in with a lot of confidence and was able to kind of make a spot for myself."
And the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner discussed Tyler Bertuzzi's sudden arrival on the scene as a key contributor for the Grand Rapids Griffins:
Regardless of whether Mike Babcock or someone else is coaching the Red Wings, the team has decisions to make regarding its restricted and unrestricted free agents (per General Fanager, Gustav Nyquist, Brendan Smith, Joakim Andersson, Teemu Pulkkinen, Landon Ferraro and Tomas Jurco fit into the former category, and Daniel Cleary, Jonas Gustavsson, Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky fit into the latter), as well as the players that the team might want to promote from Grand Rapids on a full-time basis next season.
Ken Holland made a point to say that the Wings' defensive prospects in Grand Rapids--Nick Jensen, Alexey Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul--are all waiver-exempt for another season, unlike the Pulkkinens, Ferraros or Callahans, and as such, that would have some weight in terms of his off-season decision-making.
In the case of Marek Zidlicky (and I believe we've had this conversation before), a point-per-game start with the team tailed off into a point-free playoff performance ended prematurely by a concussion, and while the Free Press's George Sipple notes that Zidlicky was receptive to returning, I'm not sure if the 38-year-old with cement skates is the "right fit"::
Updated 3x at 11:16 PM: From MLive's Ansar Khan:
Mike Babcock is done talking to other teams. He'll speak with Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland one more time on Tuesday and said he likely will make a decision about his future on Wednesday.
"Just going to re-visit everything one more time (with Holland)," Babcock told M-Live on Monday, a day after he and Holland returned from the World Championships in the Czech Republic. "I've talked to all the teams I'm talking to."
Babcock said he went through this process, which began about 10 days ago when the Red Wings granted his request to speak with other clubs, to see what is out there and what it is the best situation for him.
"I learned a lot. I talked to lots of good people," Babcock said. "I kept Kenny abreast the whole time. We'll talk one more time (Tuesday) and then I'll sit down with my family one more time (Tuesday) night and make a decision."
Khan continues, and at least this will be over soon.
Update #2: Also: this is a little...strange...Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman believes that Babcock's going to San Jose tomorrow? A decision must be near, because information's starting to get contradictory from the impeccable sources:
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