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.