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Babcock meets with Sabres GM, owner: report

NHL.com @NHL

Mike Babcock met with Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula on Sunday to discuss a possible future with the organization, according to The Associated Press.

Babcock flew to Buffalo on Sunday and spent the afternoon with Pegula and general manager Tim Murray. The Sabres are one of five teams with a coaching vacancy after firing Ted Nolan on April 12.

Approached Sunday by a reporter at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, Babcock refused to comment and Pegula only said, "Hello."

The Detroit Red Wings granted Babcock permission to speak with other NHL teams May 8. Babcock's contract with the Red Wings expires June 30. The Red Wings want to bring back Babcock and are aiming for a resolution by May 25.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said there is a compensation letter teams must sign in order to talk to Babcock; any team that hires Babcock would have to send the Red Wings a third-round pick in the NHL Draft within the next three years as compensation. Holland would not reveal to the AP which teams requested permission to meet with Babcock.

Babcock has met with the Toronto Maple Leafs, The Detroit News reported, and will do so again at the IIHF World Championship in Prague.

The New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs also are looking for a coach. Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli has not committed to interim coach Todd Nelson and is interviewing candidates.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have Mike Johnston as coach, reportedly said they will not pursue Babcock.

Babcock has coached the Red Wings for the past 10 seasons, leading them to a Stanley Cup championship in 2008 and back to the Cup Final in 2009. This season, the Red Wings finished third in the Atlantic Division and lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in an Eastern Conference First Round series.

In 12 seasons as coach of the Anaheim Ducks and Red Wings, Babcock is 527-285-119 with 19 ties.

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