Mike Babcock granted permission to speak to other teams

Published May. 8, 2015 4:00 p.m. ET

By Nicholas Goss

The most sought after free agent in the NHL this offseason might not be a player.

Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock, whose contract expires on July 1, was granted permission by the Original Six club Friday to speak to other teams about potential jobs. If he signs with a team before the expiration of his contract, his new team would owe the Red Wings draft-pick compensation.

Babcock is regarded as the best coach in hockey. He’s been a head coach of three Stanley Cup finalists, including one championship with the Red Wings in 2008-09. Babcock also is a two-time Olympic gold medalist with Team Canada from the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

He has a career record of 527-285-19-119 (.627 win percentage) in 12 seasons as an NHL head coach. His teams have made the playoffs 11 times in 12 seasons, including all 10 of his campaigns with Detroit.

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