Tag Archives: scotty bowman

Wings coach Mike Babcock: “I don’t think it’s going to be my final year here. If it is, it is.”

DETROIT >> With the start of the NHL regular season fast approaching, the chances of Wings coach Mike Babcock getting a new deal done seem less and less.

“No update whatsoever,” Babcock said after the team’s morning skate at Joe Louis Arena Monday. “We talked that we would talk before the season. I imagine that we will get to that. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time worrying about it. I’m just trying to get the team ready.”

Babcock is heading into the final year of a contract that pays him roughly $2 million a season.

“I don’t think about it at all,” Babcock said when asked about getting a new deal in place. “I don’t think it’s going to be my final year here. If it is, it is. I’ve tried to live my whole life in the present, so what happened yesterday doesn’t matter, what we’re doing today does matter and we’ll get on with it tomorrow. So I’m going to do the same. I’ll get up every day and try as hard as I can as I always have, and go home and love my family and come back the next day and do the same.”

Babcock, 51, just wrapped up his ninth season.

Babcock set a franchise record last season with his 415th win, passing Scotty Bowman and Jack Adams in the process. He’s led the Wings to a Stanley Cup and a two conference championships.

He would be the hottest sought-after coach this offseason if he doesn’t get a deal done to remain in Detroit.

“My relationship with my general manager is such that the grass isn’t greener on the other side,” Babcock said. “I imagine that will get it worked out.

Babcock has also led Canada to two straight Olympic gold medals.

He has said in the past that if a new deal isn’t done prior to the start of the regular season he would not negotiate during it.

“I’m going to do everything within my power to maximize the group, whether I’m in my last year or first year,” Babcock said. “It doesn’t affect my life whatsoever. It would make way more difference to me if I was just starting in the business and I was concerned about feeding my family. I’m not.”

Niklas Kronwall doesn’t believe this will become a distraction if a deal to extend Babcock doesn’t get done prior to the season.

“Our job is to go out and perform on the ice,” Kronwall said. “His job as a coach is to get us prepared and do the things he needs to do and we have all the info that we need. So far it’s been good. We haven’t seen a change from previous years and I don’t think there will a change to that whatsoever.”

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Babcock named finalist for Jack Adams Award; Nyquist: “He’s a great teacher.”

DETROIT >> For just the second time in his NHL coaching career, Mike Babcock has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, given annually by the broadcasters to the league’s top coach. Continue reading

Wings coach Mike Babcock isn’t worried about possibly becoming a lame duck coach anytime next season

DETROIT >> Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock isn’t worried about possibly becoming a lame duck coach anytime next season.

Babcock is heading into the final year of a contract that pays him roughly $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 of his this offseason. “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 just wrapped up his ninth season with the Wings after they were eliminated in five games Saturday in the first round of playoffs by the Boston Bruins.

It’s the second time in the past three seasons Detroit hasn’t made it out of the first round. They haven’t advanced past the second round the past five postseasons.

Asked if he thought he would talk about a contract extension over the summer Babcock said, “I doubt it. I just told you I’m comfortable. If I was uncomfortable, if this was my gig I’d want an extension, it’s not, I’m good.”

Babcock, 51, set a franchise record this season with his 415th win, passing Scotty Bowman and Jack Adams in the process. He’s led the Wings to a Stanley Cup and a two conference championships.

“I want him back behind the bench,” general manager Ken Holland said. “I respect the job he does for us. I respect his work ethic. I respect the job he did putting the young players into our system and sticking with them. I think if you write 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 the top of that list.

“I’m going to talk to him,” Holland added. “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.”

Babcock has also led Canada to two straight Olympic gold medals.

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, 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.”

Holland is also heading into the final year of his contract with the team.

“We work well together,” Holland said. “He and I we want to go farther. I told the players I’m proud of the fact we made the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive year. It’s a hard league to make the playoffs. Thirty teams start the year and 14 miss. It’s getting to the point when the season starts most teams think they can make the playoffs. I’m proud we made the playoffs. I’m proud with all the adversity we faced with injuries, we had a lot of great stories, but nobody here wants to be taking team pictures in April. We certainly have bigger hopes and aspirations.”

Babcock not worried about getting a contract extension; Holland says that’s something he wants to discuss with him

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.”

Babcock close to making coaching history with Wings

DETROIT >> With his win Sunday, Wings coach Mike Babcock is two wins away from tying as the all-time winningest coach in franchise history.

He moved ahead of Scotty Bowman on the list improving to 411-196-90 in Detroit.

“Scotty’s the greatest coach of all time in our business,” Babcock said. “The way the business was then and the way it is now, to have the amount of wins Scotty has is impossible and you’re not going to get to coach so many Stanley Cup champions. You’re not able to keep teams together like they used to.”

Jack Adams has 413 wins.

“Scotty should be in a class by himself,” Babcock said. “It’s not like I wanted to pass Scott Bowman, but I’m honored. He’s a good friend of my. I’m honored I get to talk about him. We haven’t been as good lately, but we’re grinding and finding ways to win games so let’s keep going.”

Chelios, Shanahan came to Detroit for one reason … it was a great fit

DETROIT – Players have their reasons for moving from team-to-team in the NHL throughout their careers.

For two of them, coming to Detroit at that point in their careers was all for one reason, it was a great fit.

Those two, Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan, are now heading to the Hockey Hall of Fame, together.

“It was a great fit at that point in my career,” Chelios said during a conference call Tuesday after the announcement. “We had a lot of veterans. Scotty Bowman was coaching the team and he took a liking to me real quick, fortunately for myself.”

“At that point in my career, I was going into my 10th year,” said Shanahan, whose first season in Detroit was his 10th in the league. “Like Chris said, it was just the right fit. They had not won a Cup in several decades. They had been close and at the time, that’s all I wanted to do. You mature a little bit as a player, you want to get yourself established and feel like you belong then you start realizing how difficult it is and how hard it is. I was lucky at that point in my career to join a team that was obsessed with it. And we had a group of guys that were also obsessed with it and also talented enough to be a legitimate contender.”

Chelios spent 10 of his 26 NHL seasons in Detroit, helping the Wings win two Stanley Cups (2002 and 2008).

Chelios, who won a Cup while playing for Montreal in 1986, spent nine seasons in Chicago.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d last as long as I did in Detroit,” Chelios said. “I was always planning to move back to Chicago and 11 years later my kids were all basically raised here and went to school here. At that point I didn’t really think about uprooting them and went into business. It’s been a pretty good run. As far as that business goes.

“I’m always going to say I’m from Chicago,” Chelios added. “I’m proud of that fact. I was raised in Chicago and that’s where I played all my youth hockey but Detroit’s been my home now for the last 13 years. I love it. The people have really been gracious to me and my family, from the Ilitch family. It’s a new home right now. It was a great fit when I first came here as far as fitting in with all the veterans, a world class team.”

Chelios finished his playing career at 48 years old.

“Getting into my 40s I always thought it would be something physical that would be the end of my career, not mental because I would have kept playing if I could have,” Chelios said. “If I could have been able to keep playing with Detroit I would have but being realistic you can’t keep passing the young guys and losing them. It happened with (Kyle) Quincey and a couple other guys. It was time.”

Chelios, a Norris Trophy winner, finished his career with the Atlanta Thrashers and Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.

“What really made me realize I didn’t want to play anymore was when I went to Atlanta, playing about eight minutes and not very well, it wasn’t worth being away from my family. I always said I’d go right until the tank was empty and I believe I did.”

Chelios, who’s the only player to appear in at least 400 games with three teams, ranks fifth in all-time games played at 1,651 and first in career playoff games at 266.

He scored 185 goals to go with 763 assists over those 26 seasons, including 31 goals and 113 assists in the playoffs.

“Prior to the call I was getting calls from a lot of friends and that was kind of making me nervous,” said Chelios, who was packing to leave for the Wings’ developmental camp when he got the call. “What a big surprise even though you know it’s coming. Until it really happens the word is surreal. What a great day.”

Shanahan was in Detroit for nine of his 21 NHL seasons, hoisting the Cup three times (1997, 1998 and 2002).

“I don’t think I’d be on this (conference) call today if it weren’t for my time in Detroit,” said Shanahan, who’s the NHL’s vice president and director of player safety. “In fact I know I would not be on this call if it weren’t for my time in Detroit. That first year we won their first Stanley Cup in a long time. It’s such a special place. It just seemed to be a great fit at the time an then were lucky enough to win a few more Cups. I have to thank Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch and Scotty Bowman and Kenny Holland and my teammates when I was there for allowing me to be a part of that.”

Shanahan, who ranks 13th all-time in goals with 656, scored at least 30 goals seven times in Detroit and reached the 40-goal mark three times.

“For me it was the first Stanley Cup in Detroit,” Shanahan said when asked what his most memorable moment was in his career. “Obviously every Stanley Cup is special for a different reason, but when you’re lucky enough to win your first one there are so many other emotions that go with it. Sitting around the dressing room, kidding around and joking around. For me, and Chris will remember these, the dinners. I was on a good dinner crew. We liked long dinners. If you like short dinners you didn’t want to go out with us. Just being out with the guys.”

Scott Niedermayer also was elected into the Hall of Fame, along with Geraldine Heaney and Fred Shero, who was elected in the Builder Category.