Babcock takes Leafs job; Blashill to Detroit?

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GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 07:  Head coach Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings on the bench during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on February 7, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Red Wings defeated the Coyotes 3-1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(File photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

DETROIT, Mich. — We have officially moved from #Babwatch to #Blashwatch.

The Detroit Red Wings have confirmed that Mike Babcock is leaving the team.┬áReports say he’s heading to the Toronto Maple Leafs for an eight-year deal worth upwards of $50 million.

The Red Wings will address his departure in a 4 p.m. press conference.

Babcock made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his ten seasons in Detroit — and won the Cup in 2008.

The front-runner to replace Babcock is Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill, who is currently coaching his team in the Calder Cup Playoffs. As of 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Blashill told FOX 17 he had not been in contact with the Red Wings regarding the position.

At a 4:00 p.m. press conference, Red Wings GM Ken Holland acknowledged that Blashill is “a leading candidate” for the head coaching job in Detroit. He says he plans to visit Grand Rapids sometime next week.

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