Maple Leafs, Sabres in pursuit of Mike Babcock

Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox discuss the latest news around the hockey world, including the potential finale of Babwatch and other coaching rumours around the league.

It’s a three-team race to secure the services of Mike Babcock.

According to Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman in Saturday’s edition of “Headlines” on Hockey Night in Canada, only the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs have formally filed for permission to speak with Babcock regarding his head coaching future.

The Detroit Red Wings are still very much in the running to retain Babcock’s services. Babcock has coached in Detroit for the past 10 seasons.

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Both the Sabres and Leafs have completed the necessary paperwork to surrender a compensatory draft pick in the event either team signs Babcock to a contract.

Babcock is currently attending the world championships in the Czech Republic. Cox and Friedman noted that there is still time for other teams to join the bidding war for Babcock. As of Friday, it's just the Red Wings, Sabres, and Maple Leafs in the running.

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Babcock visited Buffalo last weekend prior to making the trek to the Czech Republic.

"Now it's believed that the Sabres are putting together a big pitch," Friedman noted.

Babcock is expected to inform Ken Holland and the Red Wings of his decision next week.