The Detroit Red Wings didn’t officially say what announcement will come on Tuesday afternoon, but it will clearly involve Jeff Blashill’s promotion to head coach.
Blashill, 41, enjoyed great success behind the bench of the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. With Mike Babcock headed to Toronto, the time seems right for him to become the second-youngest head coach in the NHL.
Members of the Grand Rapids Griffins spoke of “mixed emotions” after exit interviews on Monday, but they also praised the run they enjoyed with their ascending bench boss to MLive.com.
That same publication provides a detailed look back at Blashill’s rise from college hockey goalie to rising coaching talent (and now Red Wings head coach).
Even early on as a “solid goalie at the Division I level” with Ferris State, it seemed like he had the makings of a coach. Bob Daniels (his head coach at the time) remarked at his skills as Blashill ascended from a lowly position as a graduate assistant to an assistant gig.
“He understands the X’s and O’s. He knows how to break down video. He has a game plan,” Daniels said. “He’s able to paint a picture so that players have confidence.”
The NHL has seen a nice run of AHL coaches who quickly found success at the next level. Blashill has big shoes to fill in Detroit, yet at least it seems like he’s shown serious promise in his rise to this position.
In other Red Wings coaching news:
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
The Detroit Red Wings reportedly met with Jeff Blashill regarding their coaching vacancy this week, but an announcement on who will replace Mike Babcock isn’t imminent.
According to The Associated Press, the Red Wings will wait until after the Grand Rapids Griffins season is over to make an announcement.
Blashill and the Griffins are currently in the Western Conference Final of the Calder Cup playoffs.
The 41-year-old has been an obvious candidate to step behind the Red Wings’ bench ever since Babcock signed with the Leafs.
Blashill 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.
(Related) Report: Phil Housley the lead candidate for Devils’ coaching vacancy