NHL rumors: Red Wings expected to present offer to Mike Babcock

Mike Babcock and the Red Wings will meet on a new contract before season starts. (USATSI)
Mike Babcock and the Red Wings will meet on a new contract before season starts. (USATSI)

Mike Babcock and the Detroit Red Wings have always seemed made for each other. The innovative coach with an old-school approach has been a good fit for the organization and helped it claim its 11th Stanley Cup title in 2008. That said, Babcock has the opportunity to become the most coveted free agent on the open market, player, coach or otherwise, when his contract expires after this season.

Neither side has sounded particularly eager to leave the current situation, but until the ink hits the dotted line on Babcock’s new contract, nothing is certain.

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the two sides are expected to meet either later this week or early next to try to hammer out a new deal. More from Dreger:

Babcock has long maintained that he will not discuss a contract during the season, so if a deal is not done by opening night, the head coach and general manager Ken Holland will have to meet after the year is over. That increases the risk that Babcock doesn’t remain the head coach in Detroit.

Not only that, but not getting a deal done ahead of the season would bring about widespread speculation about Babcock’s future which could prove distracting, thus defeating the purpose of why the two sides don’t want to talk contract during the year.

The pressure is on and the clock is ticking, but based on all of the public comments from Holland and Babcock and all of the available information, it seems highly unlikely the two sides won’t come to an agreement before the season. It’s hard to see the Red Wings low-balling Babcock, who is armed with some pretty hefty leverage in this negotiation.

Babcock is set to enter his 10th season behind the bench in Detroit. Over 704 contests, he has compiled a 415-198-91 record. He also has a 64-51 mark in the postseason.

Article source: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/24732009/nhl-rumors-mike-babcock-red-wings-expected-to-discuss-contract

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