The thing with Babcock is, he has proven at every level that he cares about his players so I really believe that. When guys like Weber, Crosby and Toews are talking that highly about another coach that has to mean something.
As for his contract situation I think he is downplaying it a bit which is the right thing to do don't get me wrong. Others have mentioned it already what incentive does he have to sign here longterm? Holland is making his job more difficult every year, this roster hasn't improved since 2009 and once Godström retired things went even more on the downside. You just have to look at last season this roster had no business making the playoffs and yet the kids stole the show and somehow Babcock and the boys managed to still do it. This season looks like it may be the exact same roster just one year older so the job for Babcock is (again) more difficult. Why would he deal with that, if he could coach guys like Backes, Statsny, Schwarz, Pietrangelo (having Reeves to stick up for his stars), Crosby, Malkin all soon to be or in their primes ? Super Mario and Burke will pony up whatever amount of cash it takes to lure him to the Pens.
If the Wings are missing the playoffs this season I think heads will roll (Holland) and Babcock will be looking for a better opporunity. Don't get me wrong I'd love him to stay but it i clear the direction of this team isn't going the right way, the center depth is almost non existant and nobody knows if Marchenko won't return to the KHL or if Sproul can be that long needed RH offensive d man.
Putting myself into his shoes I would really prefer to see how the season - including the Trade Deadline - goes and then decide if I'm still willing to adapt to an ever increasing challenging, when I have the opportunity to coach young superstars on other teams with a brighter future. People who aren't appreciating him now will do so once we are facing a Babcock coached team and our new coach even its Blashill get's absolutely schooled and outcoached.
I love his answer about not wanting to be coached and I fully agree with it, if people really don't want to be fairly pushed and coached to become better players then Detroit isn't the place for them. That being said I don't think guys like Ehrhoff or Niskanen are afraid of that they sadly saw better opportunities elsewhere or our offers weren't good enough.