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Flyers hire North Dakota's Hakstol as coach, pass on Babcock

The contenders for Mike Babcock’s services are dwindling.

The Philadelphia Flyers have hired college coach Dave Hakstol to be their next bench boss. A source says the Edmonton Oilers’ hiring of Todd McLellan is a “done deal,” leaving the Sabres, San Jose and Toronto without a coach. St. Louis, which is weighing the fate of Ken Hitchcock, has reportedly reached out to interview Babcock.

The Detroit coach flew home from the world championships Sunday with Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland. Babcock said he expects to have a decision on his future by Wednesday, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if that’s a moveable target.

CSN Bay Area reports that Babcock initiated talks with the Sharks.

The Flyers were reportedly interested in Babcock, but they never interviewed the coach. They instead opted for Hakstol, who has led the University of North Dakota to the NCAA Tournament in all 11 of his seasons.

“Dave brings a wealth of head coaching experience and success to the Philadelphia Flyers organization,” Flyers GM Ron Hextall said in a statement Monday morning. “He’s a proven winner and we are pleased to have him become part of the Flyers family.”

The 46-year-old Hakstol had a 289-143-43 record for a .654 winning percentage at North Dakota. Hakstol’s has produced 20 NHL players, including Jonathan Toews, T.J. Oshie and Drew Stafford.

“I am extremely excited to be named the Philadelphia Flyers new head coach,” said Hakstol. “Through the process here with Ron and everybody in the Flyers organization, I have gained even more of an understanding of the history and tradition of this organization, and I’m very proud to become part of the Philadelphia Flyers today.”

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