A potential free agent next summer, it’s no secret in league circles that Mike Babcock has thought about the possibility of coaching Sidney Crosby — other than in the Olympics.
Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review reports Babcock couldn’t hold back his admiration for Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on Monday night.
Babcock and Crosby were obviously aware of the Babcock/Pittsburgh speculation from earlier in the summer.
“I talked with Sid about it one time,” Babcock said.
According to Yohe, Crosby said the two shared a laugh about it this summer in Vancouver.
“When I saw him at the (Olympic) ring ceremony (in Vancouver) we joked about it,” Crosby said. “He said to me, ‘I heard I’m going to Pittsburgh to coach you.’ We had a laugh over it. Everyone seemed to know what he was going to do. But I think as far as he was concerned, he was staying in Detroit. But people had other ideas about where he was going.”
Crosby added — “you learn an awful lot from coaches like him. When you win together, you do share a bond.”
Evgeni Malkin who has been in hiding through the first week of training camp, even made a rare appearance Monday night to go out of his way and acknowledge Babcock after Monday’s game.
There is obvious admiration, respect from the Penguins stars to Babcock.

The talk among league executives for months has been that one driving force in Babcock unlikely to commit to the Red Wings just yet is he wants a new challenge that includes a potential GM/coach role like Patrick Roy.
However, how many ideal situations are really out there where Babcock could find that situation? Among the few include Toronto where Brendan Shanahan could clean house with Randy Carlyle and Dave Nonis.
Like Pittsburgh, that rumor isn’t going to go away.