So, I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now, but just now had the time. I’ve seen a lot of either reports by people in the media or by fans thinking somehow Mike Babcock was leaving before next season and that the Wings should go and get Ryan Miller.
First, I’ll start with Jimmy Howard and Ryan Miller. It was announced recently, that the St. Louis Blues would not be bringing back Ryan Miller for next season and beyond. The Blues gave up quite a bit to get Ryan Miller, thinking he was the last big piece to the puzzle to get them deep into the playoffs and hopefully, a Stanley Cup. That didn’t happen. The Blues started off with a 2-0 series lead on the defending Stanley Cup Champs, Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, but then lost 4 straight to lose the series in 6 games. Ryan Miller struggled for the Blues, both down the stretch and in the playoffs. He wasn’t the reason they lost, but wasn’t the game breaker they had wanted. He finished the playoffs with a GAA of 2.70 and a save percentage of .897.
So I saw (dumb) people posting on blog comments and message boards about how the Wings should hurry up and sign Ryan Miller because Jimmy Howard is not the big time goalie they need. First, I’ll point out that Jimmy Howard has a NMC though next season and a limited NTC after that. Minor details when wanting to dump one guy for another. Beyond that, Jimmy Howard is 30 years old and was fantastic a year ago when the Red Wings forced the Blackhawks to 7 games. Yes he was inconsistent this season but the team had so many injuries, Jimmy had some himself, that it’s not wonder he was inconsistent as the whole team was, with guys going in and out of the lineup. Jimmy was better in the playoffs, but his team was not. Howie’s stats, before he missed two games with the flu, were better than the “savior” Ryan Miller’s. GAA of 2.02 and a save percentage of .931. Back to the age, Howard is 30 and Miller is 35. So the Wings are supposed to buyout, or try and trade a guy with a NMC, for a guy who is 35 and struggled last year in the playoffs and before this hasn’t played meaningful hockey in years. The Wings, not being guys like us sitting on the internet, have a better idea of what to do with their team. They won’t look at this year as a reason to dump Howie, they’ll look at it as an aberration and give the guy who is 5 years younger a chance to get back to where he was a year ago.
Moving on to Mike Babcock. First it was Brendan Shanahan, the new president of the Toronto Maple Leafs, should get him to come to the Leafs. Again people (including people in the media who should know better) forget that Babcock is under contract for another year. Then Babcock himself said he was going to be the coach of the Wings next season. His daughter will be graduating high school and he wasn’t going to miss that.
Then there was this guy in Pittsburgh, Mark Madden. I’ll let you read it if you want, but this guy is just freaking nuts. The theories he comes up with for how Mike Babcock would somehow coach the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2014-15 is amazing. Somehow they would fire Dan Bylsma and make Jacques Martin the interim coach for a full season. Yeah most guys would take that gig. But that’s not the best part. Somehow Babcock would know that that was a sign for him that he should try to force the Wings to let him out of his contract. How would he know that without the Pens contacting him? That I believe would not be allowed since Babcock is under contract. How he comes up with this I don’t know. He of course also doesn’t pay attention to Babcock again sayind he was under contract with the Wings and would be here in 14-15. I won’t deny that if Babcock becomes a “free agent” next summer that he could end up with the Pens, but this kinda of stuff is amazing. This guy writes for a major publication?
So I’ll wrap it up with saying that Babcock and Howard will both be with the Wings next season. Stop coming up with these crazy conspiracy theories and ignoring facts. A coach under contract isn’t going to get pulled away from an organization who won’t even let teams talk to their AHL coach who is under contract. And the Wings aren’t going to somehow get rid of a goalie they’ve invested a long-term contract with for a guy who is 5 years older and hasn’t proven anything recently. Maybe try to think like a real GM would, not like you’re playing NHL 2014.