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Babcock not returning as Red Wings coach: report

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Mike Babcock will not return as coach of the Detroit Red Wings, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Babcock had not announced a decision on his future as of early Wednesday afternoon. The Toronto Maple Leafs were reported by TSN to be bidding on his services, while the Buffalo Sabres had dropped out of the picture.

Darren Dreger said on TSN 1050 AM that the Red Wings hoped to have a final decision by noon from Babcock on whether he would return to Detroit, though that was considered a soft deadline.

Babcock, who remains under contract with Detroit until June 30, met with Red Wings GM Ken Holland on Tuesday, according to ESPN.com, with the intention of ending this process by Wednesday.

"I hope to make a decision by morning, but I'm still very much undecided," Babcock told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com on Tuesday evening.

The Red Wings granted Babcock permission to speak to other NHL teams on May 8. He reportedly met with the Sabres on May 10. It was unknown what manner of discussions Babcock has had with the Maple Leafs.

The San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues also asked permission to speak with Babcock, according to Mlive.com.

"I learned a lot. I talked to lots of good people," Babcock told writer Ansar Khan. "I kept Kenny abreast the whole time. We'll talk one more time [Tuesday] and then I'll sit down with my family one more time [Tuesday] night and make a decision."

Ted Nolan coached Buffalo last season, when the Sabres were 23-51-8, last in the NHL standings.

Buffalo holds the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, with the expectation they will select Boston University forward Jack Eichel after the Edmonton Oilers use the No. 1 pick on Erie Otters forward Connor McDavid.

The Maple Leafs went 30-44-8, finishing ahead of only the Sabres in the Eastern Conference and missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight season. They fired coach Randy Carlyle on Jan. 6 and named Peter Horachek interim coach. Horachek was fired on April 29.

Any team that hires Babcock would have to give the Red Wings a third-round pick in the NHL Draft within the next three years.

Babcock, 52, has coached the Red Wings for 10 seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008 and losing in the Cup Final in 2009. This season, the Red Wings finished third in the Atlantic Division and lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a seven-game 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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