The latest on possible coaching destinations for Mike Babcock plus updates on the Washington Capitals’ offseason plans.
Latest Mike Babcock news.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has apparently finished speaking with other clubs. He will speak with the Wings today and will likely reach a decision on his coaching future on Wednesday, May 20. While Babcock declined to say which clubs he’s spoken with, the Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs formally requested permission from the Wings to contact him. “The Red Wings offered Babcock a four-year deal worth $3.25 million a season, which would make him the highest-paid coach in NHL history. Many have speculated that the deep-pocketed Maple Leafs and Sabres might offer as much as $5 million per season.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports the Sabres feel they’ve done all they could to woo Babcock away from the Red Wings, but it’s the coach’s family who will have the final say.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman speculates the Sabres and Red Wings are Babcock’s favorites. He will reportedly visit the San Jose Sharks today.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka reports the Sharks have received permission to speak with former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and will have a second interview with former New Jersey Devils bench boss Peter DeBoer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If we go by these reports, it sounds like it’s between the Wings and Sabres for Babcock’s services. No word if he’s met, or intends to meet, with the Blues. There’s also been no word about the Leafs since Shanahan reportedly spoke with Babcock nearly two weeks ago. With the Sharks looking to meet with Bylsma and still talking with DeBoer, it doesn’t seem like they’re confident of signing Babcock. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long for a decision.
Updates on the Capitals
THE WASHINGTON POST/CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan met yesterday with reporters for his end-of-season press conference. Among the highlights was his stated priorities of re-signing restricted free agent goalie Braden Holtby and finding a top-line right wing via trade or free agency. Of his UFAs, MacLellan suggested gritty winger Jay Beagle could be the easiest to re-sign. He also hinted UFAs Mike Green and Joel Ward might have to accept less than market value to remain with the Capitals. He also didn’t rule out re-signing trade-deadline acquisitions Tim Gleason and Curtis Glencross.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have over $19 million in cap space, but a big chunk of that (perhaps $11 million?) will go toward re-signing Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson. MacLellan’s search for a top-line right wing could also factor into how many (if any) of the Caps UFAs are re-signed. Given the lack of talent in this summer’s UFA market, MacLellan will have to turn to the trade market for a top-line winger, but it could cost him at least a good young player and a top prospect. Green has probably played his final game with the Capitals. While MacLellan doesn’t rule out re-signing Gleason and Glencross, I’ll be surprised if they’re still with the Capitals next season. Ward’s role with the Capitals could determine if he re-signs or not.