Mike Babcock can start testing the open market.

The Red Wings say they have granted a request from the highly respected coach for permission to speak with other teams. Babcock's contract is expiring this offseason.

After the Red Wings were eliminated from the playoffs, general manager Ken Holland said although the team had exclusive negotiating rights with Babcock until the end of June, it wasn't in anyone's best interest for the process to linger that long.

Now Babcock can get a better sense of what his options are.

Babcock has coached Detroit for 10 seasons, guiding the Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008 and another finals appearance the following year. But this season was Detroit's third first-round exit in the last four years.