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.
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