Jeff Blashill agrees to extension to stay on as Red Wings head coach

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Jeff Blashill will be back behind the Red Wings’ bench next season, the team announced Tuesday.

Details of the contract were not revealed for Blashill, who just completed his sixth season with Detroit. He’s currently the third-longest tenured head coach in the NHL with a 172-221-62 record.

The Red Wings finished seventh in the Central Division this season with a 19-27-10 record.

“We need a better team,” GM Steve Yzerman said. “We need our players to play better and it’s up to management to bring in players that make us a better team. You need good players to win in the league. I could change coaches year after year after year. We need good players, and if we don’t have good players, it’s not going to change.”

“Was it a difficult decision? Not really,” Yzerman added. “I’m comfortable with it.”

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After making the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his first season, the Red Wings have been in a transitional phase since, hoping to develop the next core group to lead the franchise back to contention. Yzerman returned to the organization in 2019 as GM just a few weeks after former GM Ken Holland gave Blashill a two-year extension. Yzerman has apparently seen enough in Blashill to keep him on until the roster is ready to take the next step and perhaps a new voice is needed.

Blashill has been with the Red Wings organization for a decade. After coaching at Western Michigan, he joined Mike Babcock’s staff for a season and then took over head coaching duties with the organization’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. The Griffins won the 2013 Calder Cup and Blashill took over for Babcock in 2015 when he left for the Maple Leafs.

The team also announced that assistant coach Dan Bylsma will not return and “will pursue other NHL opportunities in 2021-22.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.