The Malik Report
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Babcock, 52, leaves the Red Wings after 10 years. The pinnacle of his tenure came in 2007-09, which included a Stanley Cup in 2008, but the Wings haven't advanced out of the second round since 2009.
That was part of why the Wings weren't going anywhere near the term offered by the Leafs. Nor, for that matter, where they going near the amount of money. All that was left to do was wave goodbye.
"I'd like to thank Mike for 10 fabulous years," Holland said. "We've made the playoffs for 10 consecutive years. Went to the final four three straight years in '07, '08 and '09 and won a Cup in '08. The last few years, I thought he did a fabulous job in putting some younger players in our organization and developing them.
"I've got mixed emotions because he's one of the greatest coaches in the league if not the greatest coach, but at the same time, as we went through the process, I think Mike understood that when you've coached in the same city for 10 years, my offers were a four-year term. Yesterday I said the best we can do is five years. When you've been in the same city as long as I have and as long as I have, you don't get much longer term than four or five years."
from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,
Mike Babcock is gone. Personally, I will miss covering him.
Intelligence and enormous skill made for great interest in what the Red Wings were doing, and good copy.
I will always feel that at least two of the playoff berths in the past three seasons, since the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, were enormous accomplishments for a coach, as well as the team, and resulted much from Babcock's toils.
Seeing him flash that bird of prey scowl of his from behind the bench of another team will feel odd.
Covering him at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics made me realize he is a god in Canada.
And, for good reason.
Here's Ken Holland's presser from the Wings' locker room, via WXYZ:
Ken Holland is holding a press conference with the media at 4 PM today, and Mickey Redmond will appear on WDIV Local 4's 4 PM broadcast to discuss Mike Babcock's departure to Toronto, but Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels was the first one "out of the box" in speaking with The Fan 590's Brady and Walker about Babcock's departure:
Updated 6x at 3:07 PM:
Jeff Veillette broke the news...
From TSN's Bob McKenzie:
Update: And then things change:
While the hockey world waits for Mike Babcock's decision-making, Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill spoke with Fox 17's Mitch Fick...
And the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner about his situation:
Blashill also said, "I don't expect to hear anything" today as the organization waited to learn what current coach Mike Babcock would decide. He said he would make a decision Wednesday. Most reports had him deciding between Detroit, Buffalo and possibly Toronto.
Blashill also said he has not spoken with Babcock, which is unusual. They usually talk regularly, he said.
"I stayed away from talking to Mike," he said. "I usually talk to Mike on a pretty regular basis but I know he's real busy trying to work through his professional and personal situation."
Well, here you go...
Update: Meanwhile, in Grand Rapids...
Two experts, one more connected to the Wings than the other, discussed Mike Babcock's situation this morning, with Nick Kypreos going for the "Toronto angle" on The Fan 590....
TSN's Darren Dreger appeared on TSN 1050 in Toronto to give his take:
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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.