Derek Lalonde has been hired as the 28th head coach in the history of the Detroit Red Wings. Lalonde has head coaching experience at the minor league level as the head coach of the Iowa Wild of the AHL and Toledo Walleye of the ECHL. He has also served as an assistant coach at multiple levels.
This will be the first permanent head coaching job in the NHL, although he did win two games in December as Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper was sidelined due to COVID protocols. This is also the second straight “rookie” head coach for the Red Wings after Jeff Blashill was the head coach of the Red Wings for 7 years. General manager Steve Yzerman needed to wait until the Stanley Cup Finals were over before hiring Lalonde. Lalonde has a personality that can be described as self-deprecating.
Perhaps he knew that he wanted to hire Lalonde all along. He was quoted early in the offseason that he prefers hiring coaches that he knows. This is nothing new in the hockey world or even in the business world. Anyone looking to hire a person will work better with a person that they already know. One thing to keep an eye on is whether or not Blashill finds his way to join Cooper’s staff in Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay is looking to continue their dynasty as they have made it to three straight Stanley Cup Finals.
Yzerman has proven that he is willing to draft players that other teams did not see as targets at the point where Detroit was drafting. Moritz Seider is one such player was recently named the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. His reaction to being drafted in 2019 went viral. Lucas Raymond will likely be a part of this corps. Lalonde will get his chance to have these two talented players on his roster, a roster that is still flawed.
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