Two quick thoughts on Babcock; if Wings keep him, somebody is going to hire Jeff Blashill away from Grand Rapids.
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) May 1, 2015
Worth noting is that Detroit has to give permission to another team to speak to Blashill, who is under contract beyond this season.
Even if Grand Rapids loses out this weekend to the Marlies, they likely will not do that until the Babcock situation is resolved. If Babcock stays, they probably won’t/can’t stand in the way of Blashill taking the next step. If Babcock goes, they will more than likely hand the big club head coaching reigns to Blashill.
Onto the links.
- Darren Dreger: Babcock the first coaching domino (TSN.ca)
“Family trumps it all,” is how one of Babcock’s coaching colleagues defended his belief the highly decorated coach will stay put. That’s based on an assumption Babcock’s family doesn’t support change, though, at this point, we have no way of knowing that. However, Babcock does rely on strong family ties, but his connection to general manager Ken Holland and his sense of loyalty to Red Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch is deep rooted and may also qualify as family.
- Jonas Siegel: Next Jon Cooper might be fresh face Leafs need (TSN.ca)
“He doesn’t have [NHL] experience, but if you look at his resume, he just wins,” Skjodt said of Blashill in an interview. “Has he been a coach before in the NHL? No. But he’s certainly ready. If there’s anyone in this country that’s ready right now, it’d be Jeff Blashill.”
- Edmonton Journal: Detroit Red Wings GM expresses desire to retain Mike Babcock as head coach
“I want Mike to stay, I’ve expressed that to him,” Holland told reporters at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. “Money is no object.”
- Drew Sharp: With Cup future in doubt, so is Babcock’s with Wings (Detroit Free Press)
“You’ve got to have big-time players up the middle and on the back end to be successful,” Babcock said. “We’ve been drafting good and developing good, but we’ve been winning too much. That’s the facts.”
- Scott Lewis: Person of Interest — The 411 on Jeff Blashill (Sportsnet.ca)
Blashill, the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings’ AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins, is likely to be a top candidate to fill a coaching vacancy with the big club if Babcock elects to pursue employment elsewhere. Likewise, Blashill could find himself on the radar of several other teams looking for a new coach.
- John Vogl: Sabres have pieces that could attract Babcock (The Buffalo News)
Though their centers and defensemen are young, the Sabres have the pieces Babcock desires. Jack Eichel is set to join Sam Reinhart and Zemgus Girgensons as the Sabres’ top centers. Zach Bogosian, Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov are blue-liners drafted in the first 16 picks. If Buffalo is going to turn its fortunes around, those players will be the key.