Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings out of Mike Babcock derby
The Mike Babcock Watch (a.k.a. #Babwatch) has consumed the hockey world on Wednesday, and that world shook with this news:
The Buffalo Sabres are out of the Mike Babcock business.
Yes, with Jack Eichel on the way, and an old friend from the Anaheim days in Tim Murray, and all of the money that owner Terry Pegula was dumping on his lawn … Mike Babcock will not be coaching the Sabres, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun.
That’s right around when Aaron Ward of TSN also reported that Babcock would not be returning to coach the Detroit Red Wings. This was seconded by Kevin Allen of USA Today.
That leaves the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were mentioned as a finalist early on Wednesday after appearing out of the running earlier in the week; the St. Louis Blues, where Babcock could take over as coach and have friend Ken Hitchcock move upstairs; or San Jose, which was in talks with Babcock, although their seriousness wasn’t established. (And that would mean replacing former assistant coach Todd McLellan there, which isn’t awkward at all.)
So if it isn’t about the money, and Babs just wants to win … the Blues?
(UPDATE: Blues might have been out two days ago!)
Ah, but what about this: The Leafs' private plane (per Jeffler) is headed to Detroit!
Meanwhile, in Buffalo: Tim Murray couldn’t close Babcock, the Sabres lost the lottery and we’ll wait and see how the Tyler Myers/Evander Kane trade turned out. In other words, we might need a Tim Murray watch in a couple of years…