With Jeff Blashill officially named the club’s 27th head coach in franchise history on Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings are now working on filling out his staff.
According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Blashill and GM Ken Holland will meet with Chris Chelios next week. Chelios, who has served as an advisor to hockey operations since retiring in 2010, has worked with Blashill in Grand Rapids.
The 53-year-old occasionally went on the ice during practice to work with the Griffins’ defensemen.
TSN’s Aaron Ward reported earlier in the week that Chelios was a likely candidate to join Blashill’s coaching staff.
Chelios spent parts of 10 seasons in Detroit as a player winning Stanley Cups in 2002 and 2008.
The Red Wings are also in talks with Tony Granato about a possible extension after he declined the option on his contract for next season.
“We’re still in the process of getting the right guys and putting the staff together,” Blashill said on Tuesday. “Within a week we’d like to have it settled. Put the best staff together and get to work.”
Related: Holland, Cleary will meet next week to decide future in Detroit
It sounds like the two sides won’t need to play coy much longer: MLive.com’s Ansar Khan reports that the Detroit Red Wings will announce Jeff Blashill as their new head coach sometime next week.
Khan believes that Blashill is set to receive a three-year contract, since that’s also the length of Red Wings GM Ken Holland’s current deal.
Blashill’s currently the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate. They were just eliminated from their postseason run, so this opens the door for a pending announcement. Khan explains the timing of the pending (but not yet confirmed) roll-out to the press and fans:
An announcement ordinarily might have come later this week but Holland has been in Buffalo for the NHL’s Scouting Combine and will attend the league’s general managers meetings in Chicago early next week during the Stanley Cup finals.
Blashill has scheduled exit interviews for players in Grand Rapids on Monday. So the earliest an announcement on his hiring can come is on Tuesday.
At 41, Blashill would be the second-youngest coach in the NHL, right behind 40-year-old newly minted New Jersey Devils bench boss John Hynes. In a way, Blashill’s ascent follows the way the Red Wings often nurse prospects, as he’s had a great run in the AHL while patiently awaiting the big call-up.
There’s always the chance that this will be refuted, yet all signs point to this being the likely decision. We’ll find out for sure next week, though.
With the Grand Rapids Griffins eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs following a 2-0 loss to the Utica Comets in Game 6 on Tuesday night attention has moved to the future of head coach Jeff Blashill.
Blashill is a strong candidate to fill the spot left by Mike Babcock in Detroit; however, don’t expect an announcement this week.
“There are still conversations to be had between Ken (Holland) and I,” said Blashill told MLive.com. “There is the NHL combine and (Holland) has some other business to tend to. So I don’t expect anything here in the near future.”
Holland is tied up with the competition committee meeting Thursday in New York and then the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo over the weekend.
“Nothing has been done,” Blashill said. “Right now, I don’t have any info at all. I can’t say any more than that.”
The 41-year-old has been the coach of the Griffins for three seasons leading the AHL club to a 134-71-23 record. Grand Rapids won the Calder Cup in 2013 – Blashill’s first season behind the bench