en Holland and Mike Babcock had what Holland described as "a nice talk" about Babcock's future during the weekend.
The two carpooled Sunday to watch Detroit Red Wings farm team the Grand Rapids Griffins rally from a 2-0 series deficit to advance out of the first round of the AHL playoffs.
One of the topics discussed by Holland, the general manager, and Babcock was in regard to Babcock's coaching future in Detroit. Babcock, 52, is in the final year of a contract that expires June 30.
"We talked about his situation, and now, we need a little time — I'm going to use the word 'stew' — to stew over what we talked about," Holland told the Free Press today. "Then, in a few days, we'll talk again. And eventually, that will lead to some decision. I don't have a handicap on the situation. We drove over and back, had a nice talk."
Holland said he would "give myself the month of May and hope it's concluded by then — or close to it." He leaves Saturday for the Czech Republic to catch the world championships.
There are several NHL teams with coaching vacancies (Buffalo, Philadelphia, San Jose and Toronto) sure to be interested if Babcock becomes available, along with some teams that don't have coaching vacancies (Edmonton, Pittsburgh) but could be enticed by Babcock.
In comments last week, including immediately after the Wings lost in Game 7 to Tampa Bay, Babcock wondered who will replace Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk down the road — in other words, about the future of the team's competitiveness. Babcock got to evaluate some of the answer to that as he watched the Griffins. Earlier in the year, he also got to watch Dylan Larkin, the Wings' 2014 first-round pick who is playing for Team USA at worlds.
"Mike Babcock knows the Detroit Red Wings and what we've got just as well as I do," Holland said.
Holland said Friday that money would not be an object in retaining the coach. Babcock is looking for at least $4 million per season, double what he made on his last contract. It would make him the highest-paid coach in the NHL, considerably topping the $2.75 million Chicago's Joel Quenneville is believed to be earning.