Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By ART REGNER  |  Last updated 5/9/14

DETROIT - JUNE 12: Head coach Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings talks to the media after a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Seven of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Mike Babcock will coach the Detroit Red Wings through the end of next season. That's a certainty. But beyond next year, it's really up to Babcock. When the Wings gathered to take their team picture and clean out their lockers a little over a week ago, Babcock made his intentions perfectly clear. For now, he'll continue to coach in Detroit in some capacity because his daughter will be a senior in high school. Babcock jokingly said that if he wasn't the Wings coach next season, he'd be Red Berenson's assistant at Michigan. And then he said, "Look, I can get a job." After the 2014-15 season -- Babcock's last under contract -- he will have been Detroit's coach for 10 seasons. It's a common belief that, regardless of how effective a coach is, the message becomes stale after a decade, making a change of scenery beneficial for the team and often the outgoing coach. There are always exceptions to that rule, and Babcock could certainly be one of those exceptions. But he's in a rare position. This is how I see Babcock's contract situation playing out. Red Wings GM Ken Holland will receive a contract extension sometime this summer. He and Babcock will then be perfectly content starting the season with Babcock as a lame duck. As the season unfolds, speculation will mount about Babcock's future, and this will be the official statement -- from both the coach and team -- throughout the campaign: "We'll address the situation after the season." Babcock is the best coach in hockey. Everybody knows that, and at the conclusion of next season, he'll be the NHL's hottest unrestricted free agent. He's in a position of complete control, and if Babcock does decide to take his talents elsewhere, this won't be a snub to the Wings. In fact, it will most likely be a mutual parting of ways. The Red Wings' lineup is getting younger by the minute, and the man most responsible for the rapid development of their young talent is Grand Rapids head coach Jeff Blashill. He's also in the last year of his contract and is considered one of the top young coaches in the game. He was recently voted the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2013-14 season. The Wings don't want to lose Blashill, so if Babcock leaves, Blashill could very well be his replacement. The Wings and Babcock have had tremendous run together, and despite what happens next season, he'll always be regarded as the Wings second-best coach ever, behind Scotty Bowman. But Babcock knows the score and was dead on when he told reporters that he can get a job. It will likely be a job that he'll be able pick from many suitors, so don't be surprised if Babcock punches his ticket out of town. It could be the only time in his career when it will be completely his choice.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bears first-round pick Leonard Floyd carted off practice field

Report: Bills and Tyrod Taylor continue to talk extension

Report: Title contender planning to poach Curry from Warriors

Fitzpatrick on negotiations: I wouldn’t wish it on anybody

NBA players to fund health insurance for former players

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Geno Smith 'intent' on beating out Ryan Fitzpatrick

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Jack Nicklaus puzzled by Tiger Woods' woes, golf absence

Brown responds to Marshall's high-stakes challenge

Seven most mind-boggling NFL contracts of 2016

Is Jackie Bradley Jr. the Red Sox’s MVP?

Did Joey Votto reject kid who asked for his batting gloves?

Rams got it right releasing Nick Foles, trusting Jared Goff

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

Red Wings News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker