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Babcock ends whirlwind week at draft

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Mike Babcock talks with Wings GM Ken Holland and new Toronto president Brendan Shanahan on the draft floor in Philadelphia. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)

PHILADELPHIA – It’s been a whirlwind week for Mike Babcock.

The Red Wings coach began the week in Vancouver where he received his Olympic ring from Team Canada for coaching the gold-medal team in Sochi, Russia earlier this year. He also made a stop in Las Vegas for the NHL Awards, where he finished second in the Jack Adams Award balloting.

“What can I tell you? Living it was incredible,” said Babcock, who was at Wells Fargo Center where he was preparing to meet the Wings' first-round pick Friday night. “Going back and celebrating it and being around the guys and being around the experience was awesome. You got to pinch yourself. You got to go to two Olympics and then you won twice and won two gold medals and two rings. Proud is what I would tell you. Great, great experience.”

While it was a thrill to finally receive his ring, the Wings’ coach took the opportunity to do some window shopping as he’s looking to replace his former assistant coach, Bill Peters, who was hired as the head coach at Carolina last week.

“It was interesting, I was able to talk to a lot of the guys, I was able to find out about a lot of the free agents, talking about coaches that a guy might hire,” Babcock said. “There’s a wealth of information there. They’re good, good men, they’re smart, they’re the best in the world in what they do and it was fun to be around them.”

The Wings appear to be looking outside of the organization to fill Peters’s old job.

“I phoned Nick Lidstrom, I offered him the job,” Babcock said. “Told him that his wife was happier in Detroit (but) he wasn’t too much into that. He’s helping with one of the boy’s teams.”

Babcock added that Chris Chelios, who has been helping with the development of the team’s young talent down in Grand Rapids, isn’t interested in being a full-time coach.

“He’s got a ton going on in his life,” Babcock said. “So to be at the rink every day at 6 a.m. probably isn’t a priority for him.

“We’re looking all over and we’re going to find a guy.”

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