Rumors Say Mike Babcock Extension with Detroit Red Wings Imminent
We've stayed pretty quiet on the Mike Babcock front for the last few weeks because there really hasn't been much new to report other than guys like Darren Dreger continually guessing that the fact Babcock hasn't been signed as of yet is an indication that he doesn't want to be signed by Detroit. We've read a lot of guesses from a lot of people, some have seemed to fit Babcock's persona better than others, but none until recently have come from a person I consider an actual source with actual sources.
Then Bob Duff went ahead and said this over at the Windsor Star:
According to multiple NHL sources familiar with the negotiations, the announcement could be imminent, perhaps even a holiday gift for the man who's guided Canada to the last two Olympic gold medals.
Duff doesn't have a reputation for just making stuff up, so if he's blowing smoke then at least he believes there's a fire. The discussion is that Babcock will be the highest-paid coach in the league when this extension kicks in and that his deal will be 4-5 years.
For what it's worth, Babcock has remained consistent in the quotes he's dropped with direct reference to his contract extension. He said many times during preseason that he's happy in Detroit and that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and he's said many times since October has started that he's not talking about these negotiations during the season.
My only question if this extension is signed will likely never be answered. Ken Holland is currently under contract through the 2017-18 season. If Babcock's extension, which would kick in next season, is four years, it will have him under contract through the 2018-19 season. Babcock has often spoken that he values his relationship with Detroit's GM. While they don't always agree and Babcock doesn't always get his way, I'm wondering if there are specific clauses or wording which cover for the parts of such a deal which overlap with an unknown GM situation.
Whatever the case may be, Babcock seems to be enjoying himself this season and his system of both play and development seems to be doing well to help the Red Wings continue their quest to successfully reload a playoff contender rather than have to go through a painful rebuild. If a deal is imminent as Duff says it is, then the sooner the better.
EDIT: Counterpoint from Nick Cotsonika, who also doesn't make stuff up
No Mike Babcock extension is imminent. Nothing has changed. (1)— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) December 11, 2014
The Red Wings want Babcock back. They have offered multiyear deal to make him highest-paid coach. Team is playing well. (2)— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) December 11, 2014
The Wings hope Babcock signs sooner rather than later. But it's up to him if that happens. (3)— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) December 11, 2014