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Mike Babcock Watch: Maple Leafs out, staying in Detroit? (Puck Daddy)

According to Ansar Khan, Mike Babcock is done speaking with other teams outside of the Detroit Red Wings, with whom he’ll have one final chat on Tuesday.  “I learned a lot. I talked to lots of good people,” Babcock told MLive.com. “I kept Kenny abreast the whole time. We’ll talk one more time (Tuesday) and then I’ll sit down with my family one more time (Tuesday) night and make a decision.” So he’s totally staying in Detroit, right? A lot of people gleaned that when he and GM Ken Holland did a sitdown with TSN’s Darren Dreger from Prague, sporting very stylish flip-flops. Granted, they wouldn’t be the first celebrity couple to give an interview right before the divorce, but it didn’t have that vibe. Instead, the vibe was that the Detroit Red Wings were the front-runner for his services. The vibe has been that the Buffalo Sabres are the only other viable suitor, with the Philadelphia Flyers having decided not to dabble in the dark arts of Babcock and hiring North Dakota’s Dave Hakstol instead. The vibe has also been that the Toronto Maple Leafs are way down the list or out, as Elliotte Friedman said on Monday. Bob McKenzie offered his latest thoughts on the Babcock Watch on TSN Radio on Tuesday morning, and sees the Leafs out and Detroit as the heavy favorite to retain their coach: “I think all signs are pointing to that, but until such time that he makes the announcement you always allow for the possibility that something could come out of left field. “He’s definitely not coming to Toronto. “But I think the offer he got in Buffalo is intriguing, but I think he looks at the team realizes there’s still a lot of work to be done there. He wants to win now, he wants to compete for Cups, he’s going to have a better opportunity to do that in Detroit. “He’s had conversations with St. Louis and San Jose. I don’t think the San Jose one was more a courtesy call on the part of the Sharks, and probably the same thing for Babcock. I don’t think they necessarily offered him the job. “At this point, I think post people would be extremely surprised if he doesn’t come out and say he’s staying with the Red Wings.” As McKenzie notes, the St. Louis Blues’ interest in Babcock is curious, given his relationship with coach Ken Hitchcock and the fact that, you know, Hitchcock is still technically the coach of the Blues and stuff. So where does the coaching carousel stop? How about this: Babcock stays in Detroit, Jeff Blashill leaves the AHL Griffins for the Leafs, Luke Richardson from the AHL Senators to the Sabres. All of this is assuming Claude Julien remains in Boston and they don’t do something stupid. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY