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Your Babcock rumor of the day

I'm no fan of the, "The grass has to be greener for Mike Babcock elsehwere, I mean, it's DETROIT" theory (see also: what every Michigander hears about the burned-out heart of their crappy state--it's downright meme-tastic), and I'm even less enthused about Pittsburgh radio host Mark Madden's suggestion that the Penguins can "force" the Red Wings to surrender Mike Babcock to them, as he suggests in the Beaver County Times:

If Detroit won’t release Babcock, the Penguins should sign current assistant Jacques Martin to a one-year contract, thus making it clear that Babcock takes over in 2015-16. Babcock refuses to sign an extension with Detroit. He becomes a lame duck. Babcock has already said he’s in no hurry to do a new deal.

That paints Detroit into a corner. Babcock gets released.

It’s a dirty game. But the Penguins need to play it.

[sarcasm] Yes, because the Red Wings' ownership would totally be like, "Sure, why not, here you go, Pittsburgh." Because he's totally told the media, half a dozen times, that he likes it in Detroit, that he likes the ownership, the roster, the working conditions, the general manager, the region, and like the media keeps telling us, he is in fact lying through his teeth, pining to coach Dear Sid if that whole Toronto thing doesn't work out. Right. [/sarcasm]

I get that the Babcock rumors are going to come fast and furious until he either re-signs with the team or doesn't sign with the team over the next calendar year, but as I said in the overnight report, he's not some sort of magical coaching free agent (the ownership doesn't have to make him available to speak with anyone if they don't wish to do so), and both he and Ken Holland have stated that they plan on speaking with each other regarding an extension during the offseason.

Anyway, Madden continues...

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Comments

The_Firebird's avatar

Am I missing something, or is this the dumbest logic ever? His line off thought seems to be equivalent to a beer-goggle-wearing “If you build it they will come” mentality. How absurd.

Go back to your field of dreams, Madden, or perhaps sobriety is the better option?

Posted by The_Firebird on 05/16/14 at 04:03 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I think Babcock is just playing Kenny a little to see if he’s serious about upgrading the blue line.

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/16/14 at 06:32 AM ET

EDJ's avatar

That was absolutely absurd. Literally the line of logic is:
Penguins coaching spot open -> Babcock will refuse to stay in Detroit -> Babcock will get released -> Babcock becomes Penguins coach.

Posted by EDJ on 05/16/14 at 06:44 AM ET

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I think Babcock is just playing Kenny a little to see if he’s serious about upgrading the blue line.

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/16/14 at 07:32 AM ET

All these wonderful things Mr. Babcock is saying about the team and Detroit is for negotiation purposes, without committing.  Soon he will get a pay raise and all will be fine.

Posted by guy on 05/16/14 at 06:49 AM ET

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I live in Pittsburgh. People are crazy here right now with this theory. Most of the “fans” I talk to are convinced this is going to happen. Not next year. This year. Forget the contract he currently has, coaching Pittsburgh with Sid/Geno is the most perfect job in the world and he would do anything to jump here. And somehow Detroit will let him just come here.

Forget the cap issues Pittsburgh has or the draft picks traded and weak prospect pool.

Sid/Geno Sid/Geno Sid/Geno Sid/Geno Sid/Geno Sid/Geno!!!!

Posted by lancer on 05/16/14 at 07:01 AM ET

Russian Rocket's avatar

I have heard this in Pittsburgh too and the issue seems to be no one is shooting it down. Both Rob Rossi and Madden have had ‘soruces’ that say Babcock would love to coach Pittsburgh (well in reality a lot of coaches would…) even Wyshinski was on Madden’s show yesterday lending credence to it.

I think it’s a pipe dream and I think Babcocks camp might be putting this rumor out there as leverage for a new deal. I think the only legitimate thing you can look at is the fact that Detroit did not allow their AHL coach to pursue another job. They want that security if Babs does not re-up.

Posted by Russian Rocket on 05/16/14 at 07:43 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

I think it’s a pipe dream and I think Babcocks camp might be putting this rumor out there as leverage for a new deal. I think the only legitimate thing you can look at is the fact that Detroit did not allow their AHL coach to pursue another job. They want that security if Babs does not re-up.

Posted by Russian Rocket on 05/16/14 at 08:43 AM ET

I think it is definitely leverage. Babcock deserves an upgrade on his pay, he is the best hockey coach in the world. I don’t begrudge him or his agent/lawyer for doing something like this to take prime position in negotiations. The thing about Babcock is, everyone wants him, so he has all the cards. Ultimately, I find it hard to imagine that Holland doesn’t end up extending him the offer he’s looking for with a good raise, but we’ll see.

I would say that I don’t read too much into the Wings protecting themselves on Blashill as a backup for Babcock. Certainly, it would be naive to not think it is a factor, but I think the biggest reason is simply that the Wings have always valued their AHL club so much for player development, and they’ve done this before. When they’ve got guys that are helping crank out effective pros, they do everything they can to keep them around for their inherent skills, not for insurance against one guy or another.

Lastly, I don’t want to overstate this because the Pens still have a very good roster, but is it a roster that is as well-built for success as Detroit’s if you look out to 2016, 2017, and beyond? We’ve seen in this playoff that what is really starting to win in the NHL is forward depth. Top-heavy teams are faltering. That’s how the Rangers won. It’s why the Bruins and Habs had a gnarly series, because both teams were rolling quality NHLers out every shift. Same reason the Ducks and Kings are in such a battle. The Pens have to find a way to remake themselves, and it will require either the cap to go up significantly so they can fix problems via UFA, or it will require Shero to start drafting a heck of a lot better.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/16/14 at 08:01 AM ET

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Although Babcock says he’s content to go on a year-to-year basis, I’m hoping he gets tired of all these rumors and signs an extension this summer. This “Babcock is going to (insert team name)” sideshow is going to be as big a distraction as the Winter Classic and Olympics were this past season…..and as intense and focused as Babcock is, I don’t think he likes distractions.

Posted by Steve in SE MI on 05/16/14 at 08:14 AM ET

Russian Rocket's avatar

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/16/14 at 09:01 AM ET

For the invested fans we knew depth would be an issue this year. They went all in last year and came up short, with the cap coming down it was evident this roster would not be as strong. Just a shame to see how light it actually was.

Lots of reports Shero wants/wanted to retain Dan AGAIN this year and rework the staff around him. If that is the case I think both have to go. It’s tough to turnover a coach and GM in the same year and expect to compete for a cup but they may not have a choice now. A fresh start in that sense might provide the spark and the necessary components to rebuild the bottom 6. I don’t think their window is shut, but some bold personnel decisions are looming.

That being said I still suspect Mike signs a new deal with Detroit this summer.

Posted by Russian Rocket on 05/16/14 at 08:38 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

I think the biggest reason is simply that the Wings have always valued their AHL club so much for player development

An injury plagued season like this year really shows how important this is and has to be going forward. This season would have been a helluva lot different had we not had kids knowing the system ready to plug in the holes.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/16/14 at 08:44 AM ET

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Something that hasn’t hit the NHL like it has the NFL or (lately) the NBA is the notion of a Head Coach who is also head of Player Personnel, ie… getting veto power on picks/moves.  That’s something which could conciveably lure Babcock elsewhere, since it’s never something he’d get in Detroit.

That, or a huge truck filled with bags of gold some other team backs up to his house.  I mean, if some other team offers him 5 years and 30-40 mil to coach them, Babcock’s gone.

Granted, given their history I’m not sure that’s going to happen in Toronto with Shanny, but I’ve always sort of marveled at how poorly NHL coaches are paid compared to their counterparts elsewhere when compared to their counterparts elsewhere NHL coaches have a drastically greater impact on the game.

The top 10 NFL coaches make between 5.5 and 8 mil.
The top 10 NBA coaches make between 4.5 and 7.

Babcock’s last deal paid him almost 2 mil a year, and at the time he was the highest paid NHL head coach.  It’s pretty crazy.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 05/16/14 at 08:50 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Babcock doesn’t need to go coach Crosby.

He has Glendening, who in his own words is every bit as competitive as Crosby.  And funnily enough, who scored the same amount of playoff goals as Crosby.

Posted by Primis on 05/16/14 at 09:09 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I think Pittsburgh needs to listen to our posters here before considering him the answer.

I mean doesn’t Pittsburgh realize what many here have determined? Babcock can not coach skilled players! Babcock wants a teams of grunts who dump and chase, hit and grind, and that can play his system that is so complex and rigid that is stiffles all skill out of every player.  And besides he can’t coach a power play to save his life! Maybe Nashville is a better option?

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 05/16/14 at 09:25 AM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

With all the Babcock rumors, couldn’t it just be that he hasn’t gotten an extension yet because Holland hasn’t been extended yet?  It’s always seemed to me that it’s fairly common for a GM to not extend a coach beyond his own contract.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 05/16/14 at 10:03 AM ET

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I mean doesn’t Pittsburgh realize what many here have determined? Babcock can not coach skilled players!

I hear sarcasm, but the fact remains that Crosby was one of the worst players in Sochi under Babcock. The best players were Bergeron, Benn, Getzlaf and Carter. Obviously skilled guys, but when are you talking an all-star team, they are as close to grinders as you can get. Possible MVP of the playoffs Subban was benched in favor of Hamhius and Vlasic. Because Babcock’s mantra is to win 2:1 or 1:0 and it does not really matter if you are playing against Boston or against team Latvia.
Montreal has Price and that really helps, but the team is based on speed and skill and they showed you can compete and even beat Boston using your strengths (speed and skill) instead of trying to outpower and outstructure them by forcing players with no skill to play on the scoring lines.
Also, I watched some of Rangers/Pens game 7. I thought Richards/StLouis/Hagelin was the best line for the Rangers and none of these guys is particularly big and heavy and there is not even a net front presense on that line. Still the line was very dangerous, that’s using your strengths to your advantage.
Bottom line, Babcock is a great motivator and his positive attitude is contageous, but he is fixated on making Detroit play like Boston although we have no personnel to play that style.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/16/14 at 10:11 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Holland at one time in the long past has said that he likes Babcock’s approach of “discipline and innovation.”  I think this past season - with all of the changes in personnel due to injuries and a couple of player acquisitions (Alfie UFA and Legwand in a trade) - re-invigorated him and challenged him to such a degree that I feel like he wants to see how far he can this crew of youngsters.  With so many stories of his presence at the minor league tournaments recently and his recent attendance at last year’s prospect camps (if I recall, it was his first prospects camp attendance), I think he’s setting up a plan.  I think he’s a changed coach.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/16/14 at 10:24 AM ET

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I feel like he wants to see how far he can this crew of youngsters

Probably true. When asked if your message becoming stale when you coach the same team for 10 years, Babcock said that except for Kron, Z and Dats, he is basically coaching a new team now.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/16/14 at 10:30 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Heh.  Carte blanche almost, V.  He has a heady group of kids with some serious skills coming soon and he gets to coach them.  I don’t believe for once he’s not excited about that.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/16/14 at 10:41 AM ET

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He has a heady group of kids with some serious skills coming soon and he gets to coach them.  I don’t believe for once he’s not excited about that.

Except for the gaping hole of highly skilled centermen (thanks Holland), you are exactly right.  5 centers and 1 goalie should be the draft tally.

Posted by jkm2011 on 05/16/14 at 10:45 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Yup.  Wings need a playmaking centerman for Mantha to work with.  Would have been Jarnkrok, but Janmark looks somewhat promising.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/16/14 at 10:50 AM ET

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Wings need a playmaking centerman for Mantha to work with

There is one guy who might be a good candidate for the next 3 years, Datsyuk.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/16/14 at 10:59 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I hear sarcasm, but the fact remains that Crosby was one of the worst players in Sochi under Babcock. The best players were Bergeron, Benn, Getzlaf and Carter.


Weird your list includes some of the same players performing in the post season this year, and the same Crosby who contributed a whole goal in the playoffs, I guess Byslma sucks too eh? Odd that neither the US or CAN Olympic team coach can coach skill in VPs mind.  So can Boudreau coach, cause he didn’t succeed with a skilled Caps team. Hard to tell where your standard is, other than you don’t like Babcock.

Either way, I’m still perplexed as to what you watched or what you thought our failure was. From everything both Babcock and the vets said, they were disappointed they didn’t use their speed like they should’ve, that was the coaches game plan that they didn’t execute.  The kids who possessed the speed and carried the team, froze up under the big lights,  it happens.  Montreal is not the same rookie laden team as the wings. And Price hasn’t really helped, he’s carried them for stretches and bailed them out of a lot of defensive lapses, breeds confidence from the crease out, unlike howard passing pucks away or our backup. Price is top 3 in the league, if not the best, quick might have something to say about that tonight. 

For someone who harped on the wings Power play, funny you mention a Rangers team that couldn’t buy a power play goal if they cost a buck. And if you watched closely enough, their Power play like all others left in the NHL, both clicking and not, use a netfront. They all do.

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 05/16/14 at 11:12 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Why are we still feeding the trolls by talking about this stuff?

He said he liked it in Detroit and loves working for ownership.  They’ll pay him what he wants, and that’s fine and good.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/16/14 at 11:21 AM ET

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Hard to tell where your standard is, other than you don’t like Babcock.

That is absolutely not true. I like Babcock a lot. The fact I disagree with some of his decisions does not mean I do not like him (and I do not think there is anybody really better). It just means I see something I want to comment on, I want him to improve if you will (improve in my opinion, of course). I am not going to respond to every point, but I never said Rangers had a good powerplay. I said their best line in game 7 was a collection of 3 skilled guys. I wanted to see Dats with Alfy for example because those guys have chemistry and Abby does not make Dat’s line better. I see nothing wrong playing to your strengh and trying to beat big and heavy Boston with skill instead of playing Miller and Glendening 15-18 minutes per game.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/16/14 at 11:24 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

That is absolutely not true.

  You can say it, but you see the game the way you want to see vs. what is really infront of you, and you use what you think you see or snipets to validate that lingering feeling deep inside.

i.e. comparing the Rangers on one hand because they have a good line, while ignoring their shorfalls elsewhere, using Crosby as a prop under Babcock, ignoring he also failed under Byslma.  or….

instead of playing Miller and Glendening 15-18 minutes per game.

When the pair only passed 15 minutes once and that was the OT game where we carried the lead for a long stretch, and with the lead, that’s where you take the opportunity to roll 4 lines, and lean more heavily on your defensive minded players.  They came close in Game 1, the 1-0 shutout win, I assume that was ok though?

Was Scotty Bowman a good coach? Because this squad has nowhere near the talent Bowman had, yet he leaned on a grind line with leads? Is that poor coaching?

 

Defense and a great play by Pavel did win that game for us.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 05/16/14 at 12:48 PM ET

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You can say it, but you see the game the way you want to see

That’s usually how it works. I see the game the way I want to see it as opposed to let’s say how you want to see it. I know a lot of people agree with me on Babcock and a lot disagree, which is what it should be. And I like Babcock, hope he coaches our team for a lot longer.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/16/14 at 12:59 PM ET

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By the way Murray, you have a strong opinion on everything and obviously a knowledgeble guy, what will you prefer out of these 4 options for next season.

1) Sign Niskanen which will cost let’s say $7 mil per year on a 7 year deal.
2) Sign Boyle to let’s say 2 years at $5 mil per.
3) Promote from within (Marchenko, Sproul, AA, etc)
4) Trade for either Erhoff or Edler IF that will cost let’s say Tatar or Nyquist, Sproul and first rounder.

Obviously I am interested in everybody’s opinion on that as well.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/16/14 at 01:12 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I do have a strong opinion, I love hockey and to debate it, passes idle time.

I’ve been fortunate the past few season, the teams I help coach have brought in some guys from time to time who all have NHL ties, and I’ve friend many of them, and they’ve taught me a lot of the subtle NHL schemes and structures, and it gives me a better appreciate for what Babcock accomplished this season.


1) Not sure, haven’t watched him enough.
2) Why not, short term, wouldn’t hurt, we have the cap, and if he’s taking a spot from a young kid in the second year he has trade value.
3) Hard to tell, but I wouldn’t promote another kid without at least making one upgrade to the top 4.  Swapping Quincy and Kindl with another rookie isn’t good for anyone involved.
4) NO WAY. 1st of all, that’s way too steep of a price for a guy who is not a #1. If you were talking about that package for Webber, then I’m listening and thinking how I could improve that for you.

Here’s what I’ve noticed this season.  Cup contenders have either a goalie or a defenseman that is top 5, Anaheim being the lone exception, depending on where you rank Beucheman. Kronwall and Howard aren’t getting it done, despite how great the Euro twins are, which hopefully you can tell by watching others, they are truly great in the way they control the game, its flow and handle the puck. So unless your upgraded one of the two, why mortgage too many assets to do it, be cheap, not a short term fan favorite move, but so be it.

Doesn’t get any better than the Doughty/Quick connection in LA for me, even if they lose. Price/ Subban,  and McDonagh/ Lunquist.  You’ve got Keith/ Crawford in Chicago, but their entire back end is ridiculous, on top of the talent they toss up front.

Long story short, you either go balls out and get the true piece needed, or continue to backfill without wasting your growing talent base.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 05/16/14 at 03:29 PM ET

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Obviously I am interested in everybody’s opinion on that as well.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/16/14 at 02:12 PM ET  

  1.You can’t pay a young D-man more than Magic Man
  2. Boyle, toooooo old.
  3. My vote goes for #3
  4. Nolan would not give up his best D-Man for Tatar and  
    we will not give up Nyquist.

Posted by guy on 05/16/14 at 03:56 PM ET

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Cup contenders have either a goalie or a defenseman that is top 5,

Good observation. And it’s interesting that with some luck top defensemen can be found later in the draft (Weber was drafted 49th, Keith 54th).

Posted by VPalmer on 05/16/14 at 07:34 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.