Love it or hate it, Mike Babcock is gradually becoming a Detroit Red Wing for life.
With a year left on his current contract there is already speculation that he might jump ship. It’s a claim that frustrates me because it’s constantly brought up by reporters and officials outside the Wings’ organization. As much as these speculators want to stir up controversy and play the “what if” game, there is no way Babcock is ditching the Red Wings. I’m even convinced the job might be his to lose until he retires.
The main assertion that needs to be cleared up is Mike Babcock is happy in his current situation.
“I have a contract for a year; Ken Holland has a contract for a year,” Babcock said in an interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Nick Cotsonika last week. “I assume the sequence of events are, they deal with Ken Holland first, and then they deal with Mike Babcock. But I’m real comfortable, and I mean that, and I’ve said it. I’m on record. I’m comfortable in my situation. It’s not like I need someone to do anything right now. I’m fine because I think our team’s going in the right direction again.”
It is fairly obvious that Babcock is waiting patiently to receive and accept his contract extension.
Why wouldn’t he be? He just survived the hardest time span for any professional coach to go through this past season: the start of the rebuilding phase. Not only did he just survive, he excelled. Babcock is finalist to win the Jack Adams award as best coach of the year. From this point on it’s going to be a walk in the park with unicorns and rainbows for Babcock unless the Wings completely self-destruct.
The remarkable news (or the horrifying news for the other 29 NHL teams) is that this current youth movement still has two more waves coming. Next year’s group is so deep that a majority of them are going to get pushed back into the 2015-16 movement with bona fide stud Anthony Mantha. The Wings have once again found themselves on the launching pad to continue their great dynasty of playoff success.
Babcock has the talented players he needs at his fingertips, so all that’s left for him to do is to mold them into a winning team. Now seems like a good time to bring up the back-to-back Olympic gold medals for the superstar-laden Team Canada or the 2008 Stanley Cup as proof that he is the best coach in the business when given the tools needed. He just gets the job done.
Any Hockeytown fan that doesn’t recognize that is living in denial because given the opportunity I think it’s safe to say that every team in the NHL would l love to have Babcock behind their bench. He is a proven winner and that’s the reason why all these rumors about Babcock leaving are surfacing a year before his contract is up. As funny as it is to say, there wouldn’t be any rumors if nobody wanted him.
Hopefully that settles the controversy once and for all. Mike Babcock isn’t going anywhere. He survived the initial storm of the rebuild and in doing so is now face-to-face with the blinding-bright future the Detroit Red Wings possess. Babcock would be a fool to walk away from that, and if there is one thing I know for certain it’s that Mike Babcock ‘ain’t no fool’.
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