As Mike Babcock heads into the final year of his contract with the Detroit Red Wings, general manager Ken Holland will at least begin negotiations with him to try and sign him to another extension. “I wouldn’t categorize our talks as formal negotiations, just because how our relationship is,” Holland said during a phone interview Friday. “I’d like to get him signed to an extension. It might take 10 minutes, it might take two months.” The two will be in contact beginning next week during their pro scouting meetings and then see each other again at the NHL Entry Draft, which takes place June 27-28 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Holland said the two have spoken briefly since the season ended, but have not met or talked for an extended period of time. Babcock just wrapped up his ninth season with the Wings and has compiled a regular season record of 415-198-91. He’s in the final year of a contract that pays him roughly $2 million a season. “If he wants to go into the last year of his contract and play out his option that’s his prerogative,” Holland said. “I don’t know if he wants to stay or doesn’t want to stay, but I think he’s happy here.” Babcock said when the season ended he wasn’t worried about possibly becoming a lame duck coach anytime next season. “No priority whatsoever,” Babcock said when asked if getting an extension was a priority of his this offseason. “I’m real comfortable with the owner and the manager. That’s not a concern for me one bit. “When you’re at the stage of my career that I am, I’m real comfortable with whatever they want,” Babcock continued. “I want them to be happy. If they’re not happy then I’m not happy. I have no problem. I can go year to year.” The Wings were eliminated in five games in the first round of this year’s Eastern Conference playoffs by the Boston Bruins. It’s the second time in the past three seasons Detroit hasn’t made it out of the first round. They haven’t advanced past the second round the past five postseasons. Asked if he thought he would talk about a contract extension over the summer Babcock said, “I doubt it. I just told you I’m comfortable. If I was uncomfortable, if this was my gig I’d want an extension, it’s not, I’m good.” Babcock, 51, is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, given out annually by the broadcasters to the league’s top coach. Babcock set a franchise record this season with his 415th win, passing Scotty Bowman and Jack Adams, whom the award is named after, in the process. He’s led the Wings to a Stanley Cup and a two conference championships.
Holland set to begin talking to Babcock about possible contract extension
Red Wings Front | May 31