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Babcock to decide his coaching future by Wednesday

One way or another, the Sabres will know soon whether Mike Babcock will be their coach.

Babcock plans to decide his future by Wednesday, he told TSN during a sitdown interview Friday. The Detroit coach, who visited Buffalo last weekend and tops the Sabres’ coaching search, has multiple job offers.

“I bet you by the 20th I know what I’m doing,” Babcock told TSN.

The coach sat next to Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland for the 25-minute interview and acknowledged how special his relationship is with Holland and the team.

“I’ve said this before: There’s not a better job. There’s a different job,” Babcock said. “So you’ve got to be careful.”

Babcock has already turned down at least two extensions with the Red Wings during the past year. He wanted to see what other opportunities were out there, so Holland allowed him to meet with teams this month despite having a contract that runs until June 30.

“I’ve got to tell you my head’s spinning,” Babcock said. “I wouldn’t tell you it’s been fun, but it’s been interesting.

“I brought this on myself. I’ve learned a ton about myself. I’ve learned a ton about our relationship. I’ve learned a ton about franchises and the NHL. ... The process for me has been very educational. You’re meeting great people in the game that see things and do things different.”

Babcock, who is in Czech Republic for the world championships and is flying home Sunday with Holland, said he’s contemplating multiple things while searching for the right job.

“I think about the opportunity to win,” he said. “I think about my family. Is change important to invigorate you? I think about a lot of things.

“I’ve done enough thinking. It’s time to make a decision here pretty quick. Whatever decision you make, once you make it it’s going to be a good one because you made it and get on with it. I’m a big-picture guy, but I’m an immediate gratification guy, too, because I like winning.”

The Sabres should be on the upswing after consecutive last-place finishes, but they won’t contend for the Stanley Cup next season. Detroit is walking the line between contenders and a rebuild.

“I’m hoping we’re the best fit,” Holland said. “ I believe we’re going to have a good coach behind our bench next year. I hope it’s Babs.

“We can all move forward once his decision’s made.”

email: jvogl@buffnews.com

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