in bed, every night, for the next eight years.
Scene: A meeting room in a high-end office building, sometime in the past few days. Several men are gathered around a large mahogany table. Mike Babcock sits at the head of that table, and gathers his thoughts before beginning to speak.
Babcock: OK everyone, let’s get started. I want to thank you all for coming. I know this is kind of unusual, but I’ve got all this interest in my services and not much time to make a decision, so it seemed like the easiest way to do this was to just get everyone in one room at the same time.
(Murmurs of approval.)
Babcock: Great. Let’s do a quick roll call. From the Detroit Red Wings, Ken Holland.
Babcock: From the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brendan Shanahan.
Babcock: Representing the Buffalo Sabres, Tim Murray.
Murray: Right here.
Babcock: Doug Wilson from the Sharks? Doug Armstrong from the Blues?
Wilson and Armstrong: Both here.
Babcock: And finally, from the Oilers… um… huh. Craig MacTavish.
MacTavish: I’m here!
(Everyone turns to stare at MacTavish.)
Babcock: Um… didn’t I hear that you’re not the GM in Edmonton anymore?
MacTavish: Oh, that. Yeah, Peter Chiarelli is in charge now, but I still work there. And he obviously trusts me, because he gave me this super-important assignment.
Babcock: He did.
MacTavish: Yep! “You take the Babcock file, Craig!” he said. “Head out on the road and take as long as you need!” he said.
Babcock: I see.
MacTavish: That was two weeks ago.
Babcock: Are you aware that the Oilers already hired Todd McLellan?
MacTavish: I was not aware of that.
Babcock: You can go now.
MacTavish: I’ll just see myself out.
Babcock: OK, so where were we? First of all, I want to be really clear with everyone about where I’m coming from. I have three main priorities in all of this. The first is salary. I have a family to provide for and I’m proud of the work I do, and I want to be compensated for it.
Babcock: Second, I’d prefer to have at least some degree of control over player personnel decisions.
(Everyone nods again.)
Babcock: And finally, I need a realistic chance to win, either now or in the future.
Murray: See you, Brendan.
Wilson: Yeah, thanks for coming out.
Armstrong: Better luck next decade.
Shanahan (calmly): Actually, I don’t think winning is all that important to you.
Babcock: What? Have you never met me? It’s basically my single biggest…
Shanahan (staring intently into Babcock’s eyes): I don’t think winning is very important to you.
Babcock (trancelike): Winning is not very important to me.
Murray: Holy crap. Where’d you learn that trick?
Shanahan: Just a little something Yzerman taught to me.
Wilson: Mind control? That’s ridiculous.
Shanahan (staring intently): Actually it’s pretty cool
Wilson: Actually it’s pretty cool.
Shanahan: (smirks evilly)