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 Babcock cashes in, gets new deal for 3 years 
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Post Babcock cashes in, gets new deal for 3 years wrote:
Babcock cashes in, gets new deal for 3 years

The Red Wings will hold a news conference this morning to announce a new three-year contract for head coach Mike Babcock.

The deal is believed to average around $1.5 million a season. Babcock, 45, guided the Wings to the Stanley Cup a week ago, when they won at Pittsburgh, clinching their fourth straight series on the road.

Babcock took over as coach of the Wings in 2005 after previously coaching at Anaheim. The Wings pursued him for his innovativeness and his reputation for accountability, something ownership and management believed missing in the years after Scotty Bowman retired in 2002.

With Babcock in place, the Wings won 58 games in 2005-06 but suffered a huge upset when they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Edmonton. In 2006-07, the Wings posted another 50-victory regular season and made it all the way to the Western Conference finals. Hobbled by injuries to two of the team's top three defensemen, the Wings lost in six games to eventual champion Anaheim.

This season, the Wings won 54 games to clinch another Presidents' Trophy and then fought off Nashville, Colorado and Dallas en route to the finals. Though Babcock had an option to add a fourth year to his original contract, which averaged just under $1 million, he declined to exercise it in hopes of instead securing a long-term deal.

Babcock will be one of several Wings at Thursday's NHL Awards show in Toronto because he is a finalist for coach of the year, although Washington's Bruce Boudreau is the heavy favorite to win. ... 10444/1053

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June 11th, 2008, 10:47 am
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