Mike Babcock is Not on the Pittsburgh Penguins Radar: 5 Other Possible Destinations

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And so it begins. The race for Mike Babcock is underway and NHL franchises will be throwing a lot of money around in order to obtain his services. The Pittsburgh Penguins have made it clear that they don’t plan on pursuing Babcock this summer. And, I believe it’s the right choice.

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According to reports, Babcock has turned down a multi-year deal from the Detroit Red Wings that would make him the highest paid coach in the league. The Toronto Maple Leafs currently have permission from Detroit to speak with Babcock about their coaching vacancy and are said to be a front-runner considering the cash they’d be willing to spend.  And, you can’t fault him for wanting to cash in on this opportunity. Even if he ends up back in Detroit, he has to see what options are available first.

While I’ll admit that Mike Babcock is one of the best coaches in the league, I don’t believe he’s worth quite as much hype as he currently has surrounding him. Has his accomplishments in the NHL warranted this kind of attention?

Mike Babcock’s Detroit Red Wings haven’t made it past the second round of the playoffs since 2009 when they lost to the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals.  He has one Stanley Cup and two other appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals during his twelve-year tenure.

To put things into perspective, he has the same amount of championships, and only one more appearance in the finals than former Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma.  The gentleman that everyone couldn’t wait to see ousted in Pittsburgh.

Mike Babcock offers an old school brand of hockey, which I believe is part of the fascination.  He’s an old-fashioned Canadian hockey coach, and the NHL loves that about him.

One thing is for sure, Mike Babcock is going to see a big payday, and will surely make one franchise much better this offseason.  Let’s take a look at who I believe will be the top five suiters.