Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock countered allegations on Friday that he is partially to blame for the team's difficulty in landing a top free agent over the past few seasons.
“The way I look at it here, if you don’t want to be coached, don’t come here," Babcock said. "If you want to be pushed to be the best that you can be, that’s what we do here. You know what? The proof is in the pudding.
“If [the Wings] are concerned about [free agents not liking me], then I should coach somewhere else.”
In 2008, Babcock led the Wings to a Stanley Cup championship, and a year later, fell just short of a repeat in the Final to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He also has had success at the international level, winning back-to-back gold medals coaching the Canadian men's national hockey team at the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014.
Babcock has one more year remaining on his contract with the Wings and is currently the longest-tenured coach in Detroit's four major sports.
Penguins: Recchi added as player development coach
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins have hired seven-time All-Star Mark Recchi as the franchise's player development coach.
The 46-year-old Recchi will be in charge of working with prospects throughout the minor leagues as well as at the college and junior levels.
Recchi spent the last two years as a senior adviser with the Dallas Stars. He scored 577 goals during a 22-year career that included stints in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Montreal, Boston and Carolina. Recchi won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins, the Hurricanes and the Bruins. He retired after the 2011 season.
- The Associated Press
Panthers: Kulikov re-signed to three-year, $13M deal
The Florida Panthers are keeping defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, signing him to a three-year deal on Friday.
Kulikov has spent each of his first five NHL seasons with the Panthers, with 24 goals and 75 assists in 313 games. He logged the second-most minutes for the Panthers this past season and was a regular on Florida's power-play and penalty-kill units.
Kulikov set career-bests this past season with 81 games played, eight goals and 66 penalty minutes.
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon says Kulikov's ability has never been questioned, and that it's now time "for him now to make a statement and be a leader on our team."
- The Associated Press
Bruins: Trotman re-signed for two years at $1.25 million
Another young defenseman has been re-signed on Friday after the Boston Bruins locked up 23-year-old Zach Trotman to a two-year, $1.25 million deal.
The two-way deal has a cap hit of $625,000 per season, $40,000 less than Trotman's original entry level contract from 2012-13.
Trotman spent most of last season in the AHL with Boston's minor-league team, the Providence Bruins. In 53 games played in the minors, the defenseman totaled eight goals and 16 assists.
The 23-year-old got his first start in the NHL last season when defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was injured, playing in two games but totaling no points in either of the contests.