'I'm not concerned,' Babcock said about the lack of a contract extension. 'I've always been of the belief that if you do your job, do your job well, people want you.' (David Guralnick / Detroit News)
Detroit — Mike Babcock still doesn’t have a contract extension.
And he isn’t sure one will be worked out before the start of the regular season.
But, as his assistants were coming and going Monday, Babcock was adamant about one thing: He isn’t going to be talking about his future once the season begins.
“By that time (regular season), it’s hockey,” Babcock said. “It’s about the team. It’s not about Mike Babcock.”
Babcock doesn’t expect any extension until general manager Ken Holland, who also has one year left on his deal, works out his own contract.
“I’m not concerned,” Babcock said. “I’ve always been of the belief that if you do your job, do your job well, people want you.”
And that philosophy works with Babcock’s assistants, as well.
Tony Granato, recently an assistant with the Penguins, was added to Babcock’s staff, which lost associate head coach Tom Renney to Hockey Canada (president) and assistant Bill Peters to the Hurricanes (coach).
Granato’s hiring will not be official until he is granted his release from the Penguins.
“Those are two real good people we’ve lost but I’m pumped for those two guys,” Babcock said of Renney and Peters.
Babcock, though, is excited about adding Granato.
“He’s just a real good hockey man,” Babcock said. “Everyone I talked to about him, guys like (Penguins teammates) Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz ... they absolutely raved about the man.”
Granato, 49, had been on Dan Bylsma’s staff with the Penguins since 2009 and was coach of the Avalanche twice (104-78-17, 2002-04, 2008-09). He played 13 seasons in the NHL with the Rangers, Kings and Sharks (773 games, 248 goals, 244 assists).
Babcock planned on Granato handling the penalty kill and defense, although that may change with the loss of Renney, who oversaw the power play and forwards.