Negotiations on a new contract for Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock won't begin until he and general manager Ken Holland can sit down in the same room.

That's not going to happen for at least a couple of weeks.

Babcock's contract expires next year and he's already said he won't negotiate once the season starts. And Holland doesn't want to discuss a new deal over the phone.

"I think face-to-face is best," Holland said. "Mike's out in Saskatchewan 'til the middle of August. I'm out in B.C. (British Columbia) for a week or 10 days.

"I don't think anything will happen on Babs' front until August or September, until we're able to get into Detroit and start gearing up for training camp and we're able to sit down and talk."

The Red Wings open training camp Sept. 19 in Traverse City.

But there could be movement in the search for an assistant coach as early as this week.

Babcock has lost three assistants since the end of last season. Bill Peters was named the new head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, Tom Renney accepted the top job with Hockey Canada and Keith McKittrick resigned last week to accept an assistant coach's job with the WHL's Portland Winterhawks.