New Red Wings assistant ‘couldn’t be happier’ to get opportunity to work under Babcock

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“It’s awfully exciting. I spent a lot of time in juniors, always with an eye on the NHL. Had a chance to start discussing with Mike about the opportunity and couldn’t be happier that my first opportunity is with a guy like Mike. I don’t know if there’s any better guy to start with.”

That was new Red Wings assistant coach Jim Hiller (per MLive.com), talking today about the opportunity he’ll have to work under head coach Mike Babcock in Detroit.

Hiller has already been a successful junior head coach, most recently with WHL Tri-City. The 45-year-old is now hoping to be the next Babcock disciple to learn from one of the most successful bench bosses in the game today, then maybe graduate to a head-coaching job of his own in the NHL, a la Todd McLellan, Paul MacLean, and Bill Peters.

“There’s a reason Mike has done a great job,” said Hiller. “He’s got a great network. He mentors them so we can learn from him. For any coach to be around a guy with his strengths and experience in success only makes you better. That’s what we all want to do as coaches; we want to get better and around Mike you can do that.”