Another significant move on Jeff Blashill’s coaching staff in Detroit — on Tuesday, the club announced Jeff Salajko has been promoted from AHL Grand Rapids to become the Red Wings’ new goalie coach.
Salajko, 41, takes over from veteran Jim Bedard, who’d been with the Detroit organization for the last 19 seasons.
Though there was little doubt Petr Mrazek was Detroit’s goalie of the future, this Salajko hire essentially cements it. The two worked together extensively with the Griffins over the last few years, and were in tandem for the club’s Calder Cup win in 2013.
Bedard and Howard were close. Not long after signing his six-year, $31.75 million extension, Howard thanked Bedard for having “a lot of faith in me,” and “[giving] me the ball four years ago and let me run with it.”
Salajko’s work goes beyond Mrazek, however. He’s also worked with farmhands Tom McCollum and Jared Coreau. Last year, the two goaltenders finished top-10 in the AHL in both goals-against average and save percentage.
As mentioned above, this is only the latest shift on Blashill’s staff.
Earlier, former B’s assistant Doug Houda replaced the outgoing Tony Granato, who’s now the head coach at the University of Wisconsin. Blashill’s other assistant from last year, Pat Ferschweiler, has been re-assigned and will work out of the press box next season.