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Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock indicated Monday he wants to remain in his position with the organization beyond this season, when his contract expires, but he doesn't plan to negotiate a new contract after the regular season begins Oct. 9 against the Boston Bruins.
"I don't think it's going to be my final year here. If it is, it is," Babcock said after the morning skate at Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night. "I've tried to live my whole life in the present, so what happened yesterday doesn't matter. What we're doing today does matter and we'll get on with it tomorrow. I'll get up every day and try as hard as I can, as I always have."
Babcock has coached the Red Wings since the 2005-06 season, leading them to a Stanley Cup in 2008 and a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2009. His 415 wins are first in franchise history. He also coached Canada to gold medals at the 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Babcock and general manager Ken Holland have had some discussions during training camp, but nothing new has materialized on an extension.
“My relationship with my general manager is such that the grass isn’t greener on the other side,” Babcock said. “So I understand that totally, so I imagine that will get worked out.”
If there's no deal reached before the start of the season, veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall said he doesn't feel that Babcock's contract situation will have any effect on the players.
“The players in here, our job is to go out and perform on the ice,” Kronwall told the team website. “His job as a coach is to get us prepared and do the things he needs to do and we have all the info that we need. So far it’s been good. We haven’t seen a change from previous years and I don’t think there will a change to that whatsoever.”
Babcock, according to the website, didn't seem to have a preference about getting a new contract before the start of the season.
"I haven't spent a whole lot of time worrying about it. I'm just trying to get the team ready," he said. "When you're managing as many people as we are right now, any coach will tell you exhibition is the hardest time of the year because you have so many players. It's always a rush, so we'll get through exhibition and get going."