DETROIT >> Another quick update on Wings coach Mike Babcock’s contract status.
Babcock is in the final of a contract that pays him about $2 million a season.
“No priority whatsoever,” Babcock said Tuesday during the Wings’ locker cleanout at Joe Louis Arena when asked if getting an extension was a priority. “I’m real comfortable with the owner and the manager. That’s not a concern for me one bit.
“When you’re at the stage of my career that I am, I’m real comfortable with whatever they want,” Babcock continued. “I want them to be happy. If they’re not happy then I’m not happy. I have no problem. I can go year to year.”
Babcock this season moved into first place on the all-time Wings list amongst coaching, passing Scotty Bowman and Jack Adams.
Asked if he thought he would talk contract extension over the summer Babcock said, “I doubt it.
“I just told you I’m comfortable,” he continued. “If I was uncomfortable, if this was my gig I’d want an extension, it’s not, I’m good.”
There had been rumors circulating awhile back that Babcock could eventually take over for Red Berenson as the head coach at the University of Michigan.
“I never even thought about it,” Babcock said when asked if he had a few more years in him to coach in Detroit. “My daughter’s going into her grade 12 year. I’m either going to be the coach of the Red Wings or the assistant coach, I haven’t had a talk with Red Berenson yet, either that or I’ll be Red’s assistant coach for a year.
“For sure I’m staying in Detroit,” Babcock added. “I haven’t thought about going anywhere else. I’m real comfortable. I know Scotty Bowman went year to year sometime here and I’m real comfortable with that. I can get a job. I’m not worried about that. The owner has been better than great to me. They do things right. They treat people right. The GM is a driven guy who can’t stand losing and I like to be around ultracompetitive people.”
Wings general manager Ken Holland said talking extension is a priority of his to keep Babcock.
“I’m going to talk to him,” Holland said. “I thought he did a tremendous job. From the time a team gets eliminated from the playoffs until early August, these are the times for big decisions. I want to talk to Mike here in the next couple of months and we’ll see what comes of it.
“I want him back behind the bench,” Holland added. “I respect the job he does for us. I respect his work ethic. I respect the job he job putting the young players into our system and sticking with them. I think if you put down a list of the best coaches in the National Hockey League he’s on that short list. I think many would have him on that list.”