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Cotsonika provides a realistic(!) assessment of Red Wings coach Mike Babcock’s options

Given what's about to come out of Pittsburgh, ESPN's Craig Custance's sound and even-handed Insider-only entry discussed in the mid-day report, and especially given what Mark Madden had to say this morning, these Tweets from Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika are now probably the most reasonable and logical assessments of Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's future that you're going to read until...Well, until Babcock either signs a contract extension over the next calendar year, or he doesn't:

To be clear: Mike Babcock has one year left on his contract, and there is zero reason to think he is going anywhere right now. (1)

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Fact: The Red Wings will sit down with Babcock at some point in the near future to discuss an extension. (2)

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Opinion: I think Babcock will play out the last season of his contract and assess his options this time next year. (3)

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Opinion: Babcock likes Detroit. He works fine with Holland. But he knows he will have great options. Why not leave options open? (4)

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Last point. Fact: You cannot trade an NHL coach. (5)

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OK, one more. Opinion: If Babcock leaves next year, he's going to go a team he thinks can win the Stanley Cup. Doesn't need $ or rebuild.

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No, I don't think Babcock will coach at Michigan -- and I'm a U-M alum. He's going to make more than $2M coaching a Cup contender.

Update: Here's the non-insider version of Custance's reasoned take:

CUSTANCE: With Bylsma staying on, even temporarily, I absolutely agree that there could be a Trotz-Shero combo somewhere in the NHL soon. And that would be a heck of a team. I wonder how much the decision to keep Bylsma has to do with the reality that Mike Babcock has one more year left on his deal with the Red Wings? He'd be the perfect fit and his willingness to play out the final season of his contract in Detroit opens up the intrigue even more. I think he'd love the opportunity to coach Crosby in the NHL and not just internationally, but he's also a guy who has a strong working relationship with Red Wings GM Ken Holland, sincerely appreciates the ownership in Detroit and really likes the prospects coming for the Red Wings, so he might ultimately decide to stick around. I like the Ron Wilson suggestion and even though Shero is gone, I still think Trotz would have to consider Pittsburgh. If it becomes an opening, it's by far the best one available.

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Comments

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Anybody else think Babs may be done coaching in the NHL? To me, he just seems to have the personaity to say, “*#$%@& it, i’m done and going to enjoy the rest of my life now” which i really respect. I get the feeling that Kenny is holding people off of Blashill because he and Babs may have discussed this some time ago. I could be completely wrong, just my hunch.

Posted by weswolverine on 05/16/14 at 12:36 PM ET

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Anybody else think Babs may be done coaching in the NHL?

I think Babs absolutely loves coaching and will be doing it for the next 10-15 years at least.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/16/14 at 01:25 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

A key part of the Blashill component is that KH originally said teams couldn’t talk to Blashill, but then later clarified that he meant until Blas was done coaching the playoffs.  Biiiiiiiig difference. 

I could see Babs moving on and being content, but actually no not at all because he loves winning.  Maybe he takes on the game in another capacity, but he doesn’t seem to want to move. 

As for the talk about Babs maybe signing an extension to stop the rumors - I don’t think Babcock gives a flying crap what “rumors” are going around.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/16/14 at 01:29 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I don’t think Babcock gives a flying crap what “rumors” are going around.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/16/14 at 01:29 PM ET

+19.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/16/14 at 01:33 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

1. Babcock has readily stated that he doesn’t give a shit what people say or think about him;

2. Yes, the Wings want to keep Blashill, but it needs to be stated that Blashill IS happy in Grand Rapids with a young family in tow, though he has also admitted that he wants to coach an NHL team one day;

3. With Tom Renney or Bill Peters possibly moving on, it would not surprise me to see Blashill back in Detroit as an assistant coach next season;

4. If the Wings have to choose between an up-and-coming coach versus a coach who’s won a Cup, 2 Olympic Golds and multiple World Championships, I don’t think it’s a race at all. Babcock’s revamped his coaching style to adapt to the Wings’ youngsters and he’s always looking for new ideas in terms of coaching and psychological concepts, and he regularly swaps out the guys along his shoulders, too. Babcock’s the guy.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/16/14 at 01:41 PM ET

Alan's avatar

3. With Tom Renney or Bill Peters possibly moving on, it would not surprise me to see Blashill back in Detroit as an assistant coach next season;

As much as I really like Blash in Grand Rapids handling our kids’ development, I would greatly prefer him back with the big club instead of Renney.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/16/14 at 02:12 PM ET

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I think everyone knows a coach can’t be traded. I think everyone also knows a coach can be fired. You don’t need to be a genius to know those things. And of course Babbys will be going to a cup contender if he doesn’t stay with the Wings. He can’t go to a non contender and then have people realize that while he is a good coach, he’s not great. And whether he stays or not will be determined on what the Wings do during the off season and what kind of success he has next season. If he can’t pick the bingo balls that will give him a winning card, he will be moving on.

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 05/16/14 at 02:17 PM ET

SYF's avatar

3. With Tom Renney or Bill Peters possibly moving on, it would not surprise me to see Blashill back in Detroit as an assistant coach next season;

As much as I really like Blash in Grand Rapids handling our kids’ development, I would greatly prefer him back with the big club instead of Renney.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/16/14 at 02:12 PM ET

If that’s the case, Jim Paek should finally get his head coaching gig he has always coveted.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/16/14 at 02:18 PM ET

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Babcock’s revamped his coaching style

That’s the funniest statement I’ve seen in a long time. Revamped? Like when he played Cleary night after night after night despite the fact Cleary was doing nothing, and basically didn’t take Cleary out of the lineup until Cleary was injured…all because Babs is Cleary’s #1 fan? Or the way he also stuck with Franzen game after game even when Franzen was playing his “I don’t give a crap” style of hockey, rather than making Franzen a healthy scratch here and there to “send a message” in the way a GREAT coach like Scotty Bowman would have done? Or the way at the beginning of the season when the Wings couldn’t buy a win at home Babs kept changing the lineup and lines night after night because he couldn’t ever seem to figure out which players can play well together?

You guys crack me up with your love of Babs. He has coached two teams full of all stars and future hall of fame players to two gold medal wins, and a Red Wings team led by #5 and full of players who were playing SCOTTY BOWMAN hockey and who had won the cup before and knew what it took to win to a Stanley Cup victory. Those things make him good…not great.

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 05/16/14 at 02:26 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Posted by
     
    Howdy Gordie
     
      on 05/16/14 at 02:26 PM ET

All of what you said.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/16/14 at 02:43 PM ET

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Who would you like to see if not Babcock?  There are a lot of retreads, a lot of unknowns, and a lot of teams coveting this guy.  Scotty Bowman’s not coming back. 

Perhaps Tortella?  That’s a great option (!).  Ok, Trotz - but what does his experience being a solid coach with no expectations bring?  Perhaps it’s Bylsma?  He looks to be on the block… and consistently proven to have no in game adaptation skills.  There are many others out there, but my point is - is the grass really greener? 

You might not like a lot of what Babcock has done (Cleary, Franzen), and I don’t disagree- but who do you have in mind to step in?  Blashill?  Yes, he’s been great in AHL and everywhere else he’s ever been, but so has every player that made it to the NHL… Plus, he sounds entirely like, and appears to be modeling himself after Babcock.

I’ll take my chances with Babcock.  Not b/c I’m so in love with him, but because I think he has the players respect.  That ain’t easy these days.

Posted by nolan33 on 05/16/14 at 06:42 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Posted by nolan33 on 05/16/14 at 06:42 PM ET


agreed!

Posted by gowings from MTL on 05/16/14 at 06:49 PM ET

damndog's avatar

One of the reasons Shero gets canned per Penguin’s radio is the team drop a 3-1 series led to NY. Obviously they also said they haven’t advanced past the second round since their cup win 2009.

Not that mirrors Holland’s team since 2008.

Could you imagine if Holland got fired for that here? It would be a firestorm. I am only speaking of recent history (cap era, we can debate the 98’ SC win be his team later).


Did Penguins owners jump the gun or were they justified?

Posted by damndog on 05/16/14 at 06:53 PM ET

awould's avatar

Did Penguins owners jump the gun or were they justified?

Their cupboard is bare and their salary cap is a mess. The owners were justified.

Posted by awould on 05/16/14 at 07:36 PM ET

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Did Penguins owners jump the gun or were they justified?

Firing the GM and leaving the coach hanging out to dry less than 72 hours after losing a series is almost certainly a decision fraught with emotion, and decisions made under highly emotional circumstances are bad ones more often than not.  So in that sense I say they jumped the gun.  What harm would another week or two have caused?

 

Posted by BobTheZee on 05/16/14 at 07:51 PM ET

@TheJimP19's avatar

Mark Madden needs to stick to what he knows best

1. interviewing porn stars

2. doing wrestling commentary for websites..

3.  Madden is as credible as Rob Rossi , who gives Eklund a run for his money on stupid trade scenarios..

Posted by @TheJimP19 from transplanted in Nashville on 05/16/14 at 08:44 PM 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.