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Babcock says he'll make decision within week

NHL.com @NHL

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose contract expires at the end of June, said Friday in an interview with Darren Dreger of TSN that he expects to reveal his next job within the next week.

"The decision date is going to be moved up," Babcock told Dreger in an interview conducted at the IIHF World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic. "I'll bet you by [May] 20, I'm going to know what I'm doing."

Detroit general manager Ken Holland, also in the TSN interview, had said he was hoping to have Babcock's answer by May 25. The Red Wings on May 8 granted Babcock permission to speak with other NHL teams.

Holland said he offered Babcock a contract extension last summer.

"We're going to have a good coach behind the bench next year," he said. "I hope it's [Mike]."

Babcock has coached the Red Wings for 10 seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008 and losing 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.

"There's not a better job, there's a different job, so you have to be careful," Babcock said, adding that he's had a lot to consider making his decision.

"The Red Wings are an Original Six franchise. That's a special, special thing," Babcock told TSN. "I think about the opportunity to win. I think about my family, my time in Detroit.

"Is change important to invigorate me? I think about lots of things. I've done enough thinking. It's time to make a decision here pretty quick. I'm a big-picture guy, but I'm an immediate-gratification guy too, because I like winning."

Babcock reportedly has met with the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs. The New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks also are looking for a coach. The Edmonton Oilers have not committed to coach Todd Nelson and are interviewing candidates, including former Sharks coach Todd McLellan.

Holland has not revealed which teams requested permission to meet with Babcock.

"I have offers," Babcock said. "More than one."

He said he didn't expect money to be an issue.

"The Ilitch family (who owns the Red Wings) has always been very fair with Mike Babcock," he said. "Anywhere you go, you'll be paid.

"I do want to be paid. That's not going to be an issue in Detroit."

Holland said there is a compensation letter teams must sign in order to talk to Babcock; any team that hires Babcock would have to give Detroit a third-round pick in the NHL Draft within the next three years.

"A third-round pick for a head coach is pretty reasonable," Holland said.

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