The Detroit Red Wings have announced on social media that executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman will not renew the contracts of both head coach Jeff Blashill assistant coach Doug Houda and goalie coach Jeff Salajko. This news comes the day after the team defeated the New Jersey Devils by a score of 5 to 3.
Blashill is a Detroit, Michigan native and has worked his way through the coaching ranks to reach the NHL level coaching for his hometown team. Former Red Wings coach Mike Babcock called Blashill a “serial winner” after leaving the Red Wings for an opportunity to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 537 games coached for the Red Wings Blashill has won 204 games. This is not enough winning to justify keeping Blashill and the rest of the coaching staff.
Detroit Red Wings made improvements under Jeff Blashill
This decision is not particularly surprising as the team has not done much winning under Blashill. Blashill had been the coach of the Red Wings for seven years. In that time the team has made strides forward as the franchise continues to rebuild. The lack of talent on the roster did not help Blashill in his case to continue as head coach of the Red Wings. The team only won one playoff game in the tenure of Blashill.
Beyond that Blashill made some lineup decisions that were questionable. To be fair to Blashill his coaching style, which can be described as “low event,” was employed to make up for the lack of talent on the Red Wings roster. The leading scorer on the Red Wings roster Dylan Larkin ended the 2021-22 season after playing 71 games after it was announced that he underwent core-muscle surgery.
The 25-year-old scored 31 goals and added 38 assists for a total of 69 points to lead the team. The 2021-22 season was the first season that Larkin played as captain of the Red Wings. Larkin was the first captain of the Red Wings since Henrik Zetterberg was forced to retire due to a back injury in 2018. Larkin was the leader of the Red Wings team on the ice under Blashill. Time will tell who Yzerman brings in as the next head coach as the rebuild continues.
main image credits: