Hockey

Red Wings re-sign Mike Babcock for 3 years

Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock, fresh off a Stanley Cup victory over Pittsburgh, was rewarded on Wednesday with a three-year contract extension worth about $4.5 million US.

The Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock was rewarded Wednesday with a three-year contract extension.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but reports suggest it is worth $4.5 million US.  

"For me, there was no negotiation," Babcock said. "My family told me they were not leaving.

"And if I was, I was going on my own. I didn't want to go anywhere, anyway."

Babcock, a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, hoisted the Stanley Cup for the first time as the Red Wings punted the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games in the final.

It was Detroit's fourth championship in 11 seasons and 11th overall.

"We have done a lot of winning under Mike's watch," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

Truth be told, Babcock is the first head coach in NHL history to win 50 games in three straight seasons. 

"In the three years since the lockout, we have rebuilt our team while winning a ton of games and I don't think we're going away," he said. "The core players that we're going to have back are going to give us an opportunity to be successful, not just year, but in the years to come."

Replaced Dave Lewis

Babcock, 45, was hired by the Red Wings on July 14, 2005, replacing Dave Lewis, whose contract was not renewed.

Lewis posted back-to-back 48-win seasons during his tenure as head coach, but the Red Wings were eliminated in the first and second round of the playoffs. 

Babcock, by comparison, reached the Stanley Cup final in his first season as head coach of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (2003), falling in seven games to the New Jersey Devils.

When Anaheim failed to make the playoffs the next season, he rejected a one-year offer from the Ducks and resurfaced with the Red Wings.

He is 162-56-28 since.

"Mike has got a tremendous amount of passion [and] a tremendous work ethic and he loves the game," Holland said. "I think he has found that fine line between really pushing our players and, at the same time, having the relationship where he can talk to the players."

The Red Wings were familiar with Babcock because he previously coached the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, a member of Detroit's minor-league system.

With files from the Associated Press