Mike Babcock will reportedly meet with the San Jose Sharks Monday or Tuesday to discuss their coaching vacancy, and the Sharks have filed paperwork to compensate the Red Wings should they hire the long-tenured Detroit coach away from Hockeytown. It has also been reported that talks took place between Babcock and the St. Louis Blues.
Add another team to the official Mike Babcock coaching sweepstakes.
According to a report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the San Jose Sharks have officially filed the necessary paperwork to compensate the Detroit Red Wings should they hire Babcock away from the Detroit Red Wings. The Sharks join the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs as clubs that have agreed to compensate the Red Wings.
San Jose has a coaching vacancy following the mutual release of Todd McLellan from his post as the team’s bench boss. Coincidentally, however, the possible hiring of Babcock would mean that the Sharks go from Babcock’s assistant, McLellan, to Babcock himself. In addition, the San Jose Mercury News’ David Pollak reported Babcock will be visiting with the Sharks either Monday or Tuesday to talk about the position.
While putting forth the compensation should they hire Babcock doesn’t appear to be a problem for the Sharks, making sure they have the funds to pay Babcock — who reportedly is seeking to set a new benchmark for coaching salaries — might become an issue. According to Pollak, Sharks owner Hasso Plattner said that “cost in general will be an issue” in hiring a new coach.
Hiring Babcock would give San Jose another opportunity to get over their lack of playoff success. Under McLellan, the Sharks failed to make the Stanley Cup final in any year, despite having one of the most successful regular season teams nearly every season.
MLive.com’s Ansar Khan also reported that the St. Louis Blues have spoken with Babcock about their coaching job, which comes as a surprise as the Blues currently have Ken Hitchcock under contract as their coach. As of Sunday night, however, there were no reports of the Blues agreeing to compensation.
Babcock is expected to announce where he will be coaching next season by Wednesday.