The Detroit Red Wings announced new head coach Jeff Blashill’s assistants on Tuesday, and you may notice some familiar names.
Tony Granato, Pat Ferschweiler, Chris Chelios (pictured) and Dave Noel-Bernier will be in the mix, while Jim Bedard returns as goalie coach.
The Red Wings noted that Granato and Ferschweiler will be behind the bench with Blashill while Noel-Bernier serves as a video coach; the team merely said that Granato “will have an increased role.”
MLive.com’s Ansar Khan provides a little more insight: it sounds like Chelios will (logically) work with defensemen.
This all continues a changing of the guard in the Red Wings organization, as Blashill jumps to the NHL level to replace Mike Babcock. Former Edmonton Oilers interim head coach (and experienced AHL bench boss) Todd Nelson is at the helm in Grand Rapids, too.
The 2015-16 season may present some uncomfortable changes, yet the Red Wings still seem to be in some capable hands.
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
The Pittsburgh Penguins made the hiring of Mike Johnston as the new head coach official this afternoon and with it there are more changes behind the bench.
The Penguins have hired Rick Tocchet to assist Johnston behind the bench and Tony Granato and Todd Reirden have been let go. Those two assisted Dan Bylsma and now with Johnston in charge, he’s bringing in a new group of assistants with one more coach to be hired. Assistant coach Jacques Martin’s role with the team is yet to be determined and goaltending coach Mike Bales will return.
Tocchet was last seen behind the bench with the Tampa Bay Lightning as the team’s head coach from 2008-2010. Now he’ll make his return to action coaching Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang among others alongside Johnston.
“Rick is going to be a very valuable member of the staff here ,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said. “He was an outstanding NHL player, a guy who brought toughness and intensity every night along with a high level of skill. The fans in Pittsburgh know that first-hand. He also gained great experience as a coach with three different NHL organizations. We all know he’s got a lot to offer in his new role with the Penguins.”
Tocchet was also an assistant with the Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, and Phoenix Coyotes.