Sunday May 17th, 2015

The Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs have joined the race for Mike Babcock.

The teams formally filed for permission to speak with the Detroit Red Wings coach about his services, Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox of Hockey Night in Canada reported Saturday. 

Babcock's contract expires at the end of June. The Red Wings have not been able to sign him to an extension, though Babcock could very well end up returning to Detroit. 

Filling out the permission form means that the Sabres and Leafs have agreed to lose a draft pick in exchange for signing Babcock.

Babcock has coached the Red Wings since the 2005-06 season. In his time on Detroit's bench, Babcock has led the team to one Stanley Cup title and another Stanley Cup final appearance. He has also taken the Red Wings to the postseason in all 10 seasons he has coached the team. 

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Prior to arriving in Detroit, Babcock coached Anaheim for two seasons, taking the team to the Stanley Cup final in his first year with the team in 2002-03. 

Other teams can still enter the Babcock sweepstakes, though the coach said on Friday that he expected to make a decision by Wednesday. A number of other teams are also reportedly interested in Babcock's services. 

- Stanley Kay

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