DETROIT — Coach Mike Babcock’s contract with the Red Wings will expire at the end of the 2014-15 season if he and general manager Ken Holland cannot come to terms on an extension in the following weeks.
“If we get something done in September, great,” Babcock said. “But if we don’t and I’ve said this and no one believes me, I have a real good relationship with the general manager and I’m real confident in my own ability and confident in the ability he has to put together a team. We’ll find a way to work something out over time.”
Babcock is entering his 10th season as the Red Wings’ coach, making him the longest tenured coach currently in the NHL. However, lack of a current contract extension should not be cause for panic in Detroit.
“I’m real comfortable,” Babcock said. “I’m not selling my house or anything like that. Life is good for me.”
Babcock has won 415 regular-season games during his time spent with the Wings, won two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada, won a Stanley Cup and another Stanley Cup finals appearance. He is arguably the most successful NHL head coach of the past decade. With a decorated resume, Babcock is in a position of power in terms of negotiation but understands the situation and environment he is in.
“I’ve thought a lot about that (contract negotiations),” he said. “Lots of people have asked me this question. Kenny Holland is a good man, the Ilitches are good people and they’ve looked after us.”
Negotiations could heat up in two weeks at training camp in Traverse City, but if the season starts before an agreement can be reached, Babcock seemed confident that the absence of an extension would not be a distraction.
“We’ll find a way to work something out over time,” he said. “I’m not all wound up about this one bit.”