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Yes, Wings coach Mike Babcock once asked Ken Holland if he could be Scotty Bowman’s successor

The Associated Press's Larry Lage examined the battle between the Chicago Blackhawks' and Detroit Red Wings' coaches, discussing Joel Quenneville's role in his Hawks' successes (despite being 0-and-5 against the Wings in the playoffs) and Mike Babcock's presence behind the Wings' bench, and in doing so, Lage related a story from Wings GM Ken Holland that you may not yet be aware of:

"He makes his team accountable,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

With an iron fist?

"Yeah,'' Holland said. "He's the boss.''

Holland is Babcock's boss more than a decade after telling him that he wanted to lead the storied franchise on the ice while he was coaching a minor league team shared by Detroit and Anaheim. During the second intermission of a playoff game in 2002, Holland recalled Babcock telling him he wanted to be the next coach of the Red Wings.

"I don't hire interns,'' Holland said he told Babcock. "The next year, he knocked us out of the playoffs.'

Continued

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Comments

MOWingsfan19's avatar

“I don’t hire interns,’’ Holland said he told Babcock. “The next year, he knocked us out of the playoffs.’

Ouch. Wonder how many time Uncle Mike has jabbed Kenny about that since….

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/22/13 at 04:28 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Oh man, ANA fans must love hearing that,,,

Posted by Primis on 05/22/13 at 04:29 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Uncle Mike made mincemeat outta Dave Lewis.  Bowman originally wanted Barry Smith to succeed him, but Holland went with Lewis instead to reward him for his loyalty.  Two years of first round exits and now Uncle Mike has owned the Wings bench since then.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/22/13 at 05:21 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Posted by SYF from the Flood on 05/22/13 at 06:21 PM ET

Not saying that Lewis was a good head coach, because he wasn’t, and not saying that Babs isn’t great, because he is, but I seem to remember Detroit skating circles around Anaheim, only to be stymied by a goalie playing out of his mind, stopping 40-50 shots a night, a feat he was never able to recreate.

I’ve posted it here before, but a famous hockey quote is “great goaltending can make a coach look like a genius.”

Posted by Hootinani on 05/22/13 at 08:38 PM ET

Labatt Blue Bear's avatar

I still can’t believe we got swept by the Mighty Ducks in 2003. If I remember correctly, we lost in OT against Chicago in the final game and ended up as the 2nd seed. I was actually happy because I thought it was a better match up to play the Ducks instead of Edmonton. Boy was I wrong… although I always question what might have been if we had won game 1 in OT. Remember how we thought we had won (Mickey with the famous “This game is over gang”) but they reviewed the goal and it had hit the cross bar. The rest is history…

Posted by Labatt Blue Bear on 05/22/13 at 08:40 PM ET

monkey's avatar

If I remember correctly, we lost in OT against Chicago in the final game and ended up as the 2nd seed.

I was at that game.  At the United Center in Chicago. Place was crawling with Wings fans.  I couldn’t believe we lost. 

Detroit center Sergei Fedorov was surprised that his short-handed tally—his 400th NHL goal—midway through the third period didn’t seal the victory for the Red Wings.

“I thought we were full throttle by that time and we were going strong,’’ Fedorov said. “We were going forward and playing well.’‘

Same here, Sergei.  When you scored I knew it was over.  Yet, somehow, it wasn’t.

Posted by monkey from Praha, Česká republika on 05/22/13 at 09:28 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Same here, Sergei.  When you scored I knew it was over.  Yet, somehow, it wasn’t.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/22/13 at 10:28 PM ET

Ain’t reality a bitch… smile

Posted by calquake on 05/22/13 at 10:36 PM ET

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About The Malik Report

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.