Team waits for Babcock's answer

Updated: June 30, 2005, 8:10 PM ET
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Mighty Ducks offered coach Mike Babcock a one-year contract extension Thursday and then waited for his answer.

"He has asked for time to think about it, which I understand," new Ducks general manager Brian Burke said.

Babcock's original deal, a two-year contract with a one-year extension, expired Thursday. He said he would make his decision by July 7.

Babcock led the Ducks to the Stanley Cup finals two years ago during his first season in Anaheim. They didn't make the playoffs in 2003-04, and last season was canceled because of the NHL lockout.

"Mike has done a good enough job to continue coaching this team," Burke said. "Most of the time, when a new general manager comes in, he brings a coach with him. I believe Mike deserves a chance here and that's why I hope he takes the offer."

Burke said he assured Babcock that if the team does well next season he won't have to wait until the end of the season to discuss a new contract.

Burke was hired last week when new owners Henry and Susan Samueli took over after buying the team for a reported $75 million from the Walt Disney Co.

Meanwhile, the Ducks offered Al Coates, who served as interim GM for a year before Burke was hired, a different, unspecified position. Coates also asked for time to consider it.

Assistant GMs David McNab and Chuck Fletcher will stay on, although their titles have not yet been decided, Burke said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press