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A little Babcockian point-counter-point-counter-point

After the Toronto Star's Dave Feschuk posited the suggestion that Red Wings coach Mike Babcock should be wooed by the Toronto Maple Leafs (because, magically, teams' ownership groups apparently let each other poach coaches and management)...

Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika reported that Babcock was headed to Quebec instead to scout Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs this evening, and the Wings beat writers' reaction stories to Babcock being named a Jack Adams Award finalist included oodles of praise for the coach's teaching abilities from none other than Gustav Nyquist.

This afternoon, something of a point-counterpoint set of commentary unfolded, with Babcock sounding every bit like a coach immersed in his current job while speaking with NHL Live for nearly eight minutes (via RedWingsFeed)...

While Feschuk spoke to Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery--who's all about stirring the Babcockian rumor mill...

And it's pretty weird to hear Dery react as he does given the way Babcock insisted to Dery that he's happy in Detroit a week ago...

As the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan annotated...

"The reality is the grasser isn't greener on the other side," Babcock said. "It's just not. I know the people here and I like it here."

Babcock, 51, is comfortable with the direction of the organization, with a big group of prospects having already arrived on the Red Wings’ roster or still on the way.

"I like it here a lot," Babcock said. "We have a lot of kids coming. We're going in the right direction. We have a new building coming. I enjoy our general manager (Ken Holland), he's competitive and wants to be good. He's not comfortable with what has been going on of late.

"Our owner (Mike Ilitch) is very demanding and yet appreciative, he gives you an opportunity for success."

Babcock's youngest child is graduating from high school next spring. He said he was comfortable either signing an extension with the Red Wings, or a year-to-year contract similar to how Scotty Bowman worked the final years of his coaching career with the Red Wings.

"I'm not one bit concerned about it," Babcock said.

And Babcock reiterated his statements on an interview with Toronto's The Fan 590 last week, too:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


PDXWing's avatar

In the NHL Live interview with Babcock, I’m pretty sure I heard him say that Backman would play on the Wings next year (I think he says at about the 2:58 mark that “he’ll step in and play on our team next year”). If that is accurate, that is a new development and a vote of confidence for Backman. So, if Q is not offered a contract then that would leave 6 dmen (E, Kronner, Smith, Backman, Kindl, Lashoff) in the mix if no moves are made. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ouellet, Sproul, or Almquist push Kindl and/or Lashoff down the depth chart. I would guess that Ouellet and Almquist would push Kindl and Sproul would need to outplay Lashoff considering their respective styles of play. Lashoff has good size and is relied upon to kill penalties, so if he is not playing someone else would not to take that spot.

Posted by PDXWing on 05/06/14 at 11:14 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

*edit - the last line should read - someone else would need to take that spot.

Posted by PDXWing on 05/06/14 at 11:24 PM ET

tekjansen's avatar

Feschuk is crazy if he doesn’t think Holland doesn’t value Babcock’s opinion. To me, it seems as though the two are very interconnected. Babcock was the one who wanted to bring back Cleary. In fact, what Feschuk is proposing, that Shanahan would invite Babcock into those sort of discussions that Feschuk doesn’t know/think is already happening in Detroit, is ridiculous, in the sense that Brendan Shanahan isn’t the general manager! That would be like Drew Sharp suggesting Jimmy Devellano promising Randy Carlyle influence on Ken Holland beyond whatever Babcock might have.

Posted by tekjansen on 05/07/14 at 08:49 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I don’t think he watched the part of 24/7 where Babcock and Holland were finishing each other’s sentences. Babcock has repeatedly stated that he and Holland have heated meetings where they don’t agree, and that they like it that way, that they have a productive, honest two-way street as to how to manage the player personnel.

It’s Feschuk playing off the John Niyo story with, “IT’S TORONTO AND WE AM DE BEST” and knowing that Matt Dery on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM is gonna parrot this issue like it’s gospel truth until Babcock’s re-signed.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/07/14 at 08:53 AM ET


Lashoff and Kindl jerseys are on their way to becoming collectors items.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 05/07/14 at 11:02 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.