Babcock says goodbye to Mighty Ducks

Mike Babcock refuses one-year extension from Mighty Ducks, might take head coaching job in Detroit

Mike Babcock's immediate future in the NHL doesn't involve the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Babcock severed ties with his former team on Wednesday night, rejecting a one-year extension offer from new general manager Brian Burke.

"I'm not going back to Anaheim," Babcock said Thursday from his off-season home in Emma Lake, Sask., before leaving for the golf tournament. "Coaching in this league is a fit. They didn't know me good enough obviously to offer me more than one year and I respect that."

There are rumours Babcock, who led the Ducks to the 2003 Stanley Cup finals, is poised to take over the head-coaching job in Detroit.

"Bobby Brett, my advisor, has assured me that I will coach in the league," said Babcock, whose two-year deal with the Ducks expired on June 30.

Burke, who was hired by new Mighty Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli last month, made his offer last week and gave Babcock until Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET to decide.

When Babcock's advisor asked for more money or a deadline extension, Burke refused.

"He came back and gave us two chances to extend the deadline or sweeten the pot and I said flat 'No' both times – with a considerable amount of emphasis and profanity," Burke said.

The Ducks GM said he has already begun the search for a new coach.

Babcock, 42, helped lead the Ducks on a remarkable run to the finals in his first year as head coach, but didn't make the playoffs the next year.

In his two years in Anaheim, he compiled a 69-76-19 record.

He also led Canada to gold in the 2004 world hockey championship in Prague, taking over the head-coaching job the day before the tournament opener when Joel Quenneville became ill.

The Wings haven't officially said anything about Babcock at this point, but Dave Lewis's contract expired on June 30.