“Babcock watch” has officially ended, Babcock and the Detroit Red Wings have decided to part ways. This decision comes after long weeks of waiting and speculating on where the Stanley Cup Championship coach may go. Throughout the day news broke that Babcock was out of the question for Buffalo, then a few moments later it was reported that the Detroit Red Wings were also out.
Sources in BUF say they are OUT on Mike Babcock. Not going to BUF.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 20, 2015
Source say Mike Babcock has decided to leave the Detroit Red Wings. #TSN
— Aaron Ward (@TSNAaronWard) May 20, 2015
Babcock spent 10 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. While here he never had a losing season and made the playoffs every season. He had a 458-223-105 record in the regular season and a 67-56 record in the playoffs. He won his first Stanley Cup in the 2007-2008 season when the Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins. His coaching style that focuses more on skill and puck possession was seen in every Red Wings team he coached throughout his ten seasons. At this time it is being reported from TSN’s Darren Dreger that Babcock will be taking his talents to Toronto, and for a long time.
Sources say Mike Babcock has been hired by the Maple Leafs. Mammoth 8 yr contract believed to be around $50 million. — Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 20, 2015
An official announce was made by the Toronto Maple Leafs on their official Twitter page and now everything has been officially made.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 20, 2015
Babcock leaving Detroit means that now the team must make the journey of finding a new head coach. However that journey could easily be a short one. It is assumed that the Red Wings would pick their AHL teams head coach Jeff Blashill of the Grand Rapids Griffins. Blashill right now is leading the Griffins in the 2015 Calder Cup playoffs. The team is looking to win their second in three years.
Many have thought that Blashill would be the replacement if Babcock was to leave this season. Many think that Blashill has the ability to coach the Red Wings and that more than half the current roster, he has coached at one time so the change would be much easier for players on the team. While at the helm of the Griffins Blashill has gone 134-71-23 in three season. He also has one Calder Cup to his name.
Like the Red Wings players, their farm systems are used to mold coaches as well. Many coaches have gotten chances with the Griffins and then went on to coach other teams in the NHL. It seemed whenever a coach for the Griffins were ready to make the move up, Babcock was still here. Now we have a chance to take a coach in Blashill right from our system and get to see if he can pan out in the NHL as well as he did in the AHL.
From me personally, Mike I wish you well, I don’t want to see you fail because you were the head coach when I saw my first Stanley Cup won by the Red Wings. You have given the organization ten wonderful years and for that you deserve a thank you. You’re a smart hockey mind and again I wish you well.
So a new era starts in Hockey Town. The next few weeks will be as interesting as the last few weeks have been. The team is in search for a new coach, the draft is coming in June. Stay connected to Detroit Jock City for all your Detroit Red Wings news as the off-season continues on.
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