By Harry Allison
Now that the Flyers have pulled the plug on coach Craig Berube, general manager Ron Hextall may have to wait till teams start falling out of the NHL playoffs before he hires a new coach.
Such as Detroit Red Wings’ Mike Babcock (photo above).
Babcock addressed the fact that his name continues to surface as a possible candidate for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and Flyers coaching vacancies.
When asked if those rumors register with him, Babcock said no.
“It doesn’t. It does nothing at all,” he said before the Leafs’ Stanley Cup playoff game with Tampa Bay. “I’m coaching the Red Wings and pumped to do it. My manager’s fantastic. I’ve got a great relationship with him.”
Babcock’s contract expires at the end of the 2014-2015 season and he will sit down with Detroit general manager Ken Holland at some point during the offseason. Babcock explained that he has a daughter going to the University of Portland this summer and his son is going to Merrimack College near Boston.
“Those things are my focus. Everything else will get looked at after when it gets looked after. We’re going to do our best to play as long as we possibly can and then Ken and I will meet,” Babcock said.
“I don’t spend much time thinking about it. I’m flattered. I’ve got a great family and my wife loves me and [if the Red Wings] like me enough they’d keep me here — to be honest with you. The rest of the stuff doesn’t matter, we’ve got a game today and that’s my total focus.”
Added Babcock, “I’m coaching in Detroit. I love coaching in Detroit.”