Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock has been granted permission to talk to other NHL teams about a head coaching position. The window to discuss a deal opened on Friday and will continue through May, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Babcock’s current deal with the Red Wings expires on June 30.
“I want Mike here if Mike wants to be here. That’s always been my attitude with players and with personnel. If there’s a better opportunity for you elsewhere then you probably should pursue it. I want Mike to be here because he thinks this is the best situation for him, for his family, for his career,” general manager Ken Holland told MLive.com.
The 52-year-old may be the most highly sought after free agent on the market this offseason, since the player free agent class lacks star power. Babcock has coached the Red Wings for the past 10 seasons, making the playoffs every year. He has coached his team to a 458-223-105 record, including two Western Conference championships and a Stanley Cup in 2008.
Babcock may not leave the Red Wings, but he will certainly explore his options. Holland would like a response in the next few weeks, by the end of May at the latest. If a team does sign him, it could cost them a third-round pick.