Mike Babcock could make decision by Wednesday

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Mike Babcock

Mike Babcock is getting closer to making a decision on his future.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland and Babcock sat down for an interview with TSN Canada analyst Darren Dreger on Friday, and Babcock said he could make a decision as early as next Wednesday, May 20. Holland gave Babcock a soft deadline of May 25 to make a decision.

"That date will be moved up," said Babcock, who along with Holland, returns Sunday from watching the world championships in Prague. "I bet you by the 20th I'll know what I'm doing.

"When your situation is as good as it is in Detroit, there's not a better job, there's a different job."

Babcock is under contract with the Red Wings until June 30, and would be free to sign with any team July 1.

"I was happy to hear Mike is far along in his process, that he's close to making a decision," Holland told The Detroit News. "Beyond that, I don't really know a lot."

Holland said he wants Babcock to talk to other teams and make sure he's comfortable with his decision — and make sure Detroit is where Babcock wants to be.

"I don't want Mike to think maybe there's a better opportunity," Holland said. "I'm hoping we're the best fit."

Babcock said he has "offers" from different teams, but wouldn't divulge which teams.

He said the process has been "educational."

Babcock added: "My head is spinning. It's been an interesting process. I brought this on myself. I've learned a ton about myself and our relationship (with Holland) and the NHL. It's been great."

Toronto and Buffalo are two teams known to have talked to Babcock before he left for the World Championships.

Philadelphia, San Jose and Edmonton are three teams without coaches, although the Oilers reportedly are close to naming Todd McLellan, a former Babcock assistant who was fired by the Sharks, as their coach.

"Is change important to invigorate you?" Babcock said. "I've done a lot of 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."