With the Grand Rapids Griffins eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs following a 2-0 loss to the Utica Comets in Game 6 on Tuesday night attention has moved to the future of head coach Jeff Blashill.
Blashill is a strong candidate to fill the spot left by Mike Babcock in Detroit; however, don’t expect an announcement this week.
“There are still conversations to be had between Ken (Holland) and I,” said Blashill told MLive.com. “There is the NHL combine and (Holland) has some other business to tend to. So I don’t expect anything here in the near future.”
Holland is tied up with the competition committee meeting Thursday in New York and then the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo over the weekend.
“Nothing has been done,” Blashill said. “Right now, I don’t have any info at all. I can’t say any more than that.”
The 41-year-old has been the coach of the Griffins for three seasons leading the AHL club to a 134-71-23 record. Grand Rapids won the Calder Cup in 2013 – Blashill’s first season behind the bench
The Detroit Red Wings reportedly met with Jeff Blashill regarding their coaching vacancy this week, but an announcement on who will replace Mike Babcock isn’t imminent.
According to The Associated Press, the Red Wings will wait until after the Grand Rapids Griffins season is over to make an announcement.
Blashill and the Griffins are currently in the Western Conference Final of the Calder Cup playoffs.
The 41-year-old has been an obvious candidate to step behind the Red Wings’ bench ever since Babcock signed with the Leafs.
Blashill has been the coach of the Griffins for three seasons leading the AHL club to a 134-71-23 record. Grand Rapids won the Calder Cup in 2013 – Blashill’s first season behind the bench.
(Related) Report: Phil Housley the lead candidate for Devils’ coaching vacancy
Last weekend Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment had found their replacement for out going president and CEO, Tim Leiweke.
However, there appears to be a change in plans as MLSE announced on Friday that Leiweke will remain in his role past June 30.
“It’s a privilege to work with the incredible MLSE team, and it’s a very positive time to be at the company,” said Leiweke in a statement. “We’ve accomplished great things together. I’m happy to be here as long as I’m needed while the organization works to find the right leader to carry the momentum forward.”
MLSE, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs among others, was expected to announce the hiring of John Cassaday to replace Leiweke this week.
According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, negotiations on compensation with Cassaday became an issue after the Mike Babcock signing.
Cassaday recently retired as president and CEO of Toronto-based radio and television broadcaster, Corus Entertainment.
Leiweke joined MLSE in April 2013 on a reported five-year contract, but was scheduled to leave the company on June 30.
Red Wings fans may feel jilted now that Mike Babcock chased the challenge and cash in Toronto, yet they’d be hard-pressed to deny that the scowling head coach accomplished a lot in the decade he spent in Detroit.
Babcock didn’t forget the fans, either, as he took out this full-page ad to say thank you … and goodbye.
The text reads:
Detroit Red Wings Fans,
Thank you for an amazing 10 years!
We’ll never forget the support you’ve provided us and will always cherish the memories we’ve shared together in Hockeytown.
– The Babcocks.
Sarcasm is basically inevitable on social media, so of course there’s been a quip here and there, especially regarding Babcock’s big-money contract.
That’s a pretty good way of looking at it.
To some, it’s still a little bewildering to imagine someone else behind Detroit’s bench, but this another (classy) reminder that it’s all real.
OK, it’s still a little stunning:
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Even if you’re one of those cold souls who think that playoff beards are played out – really? – this story should warm your heart a bit: the Washington Capitals’ (copyrighted!) Beard-a-Thon raised more than $30K for the American Special Hockey Association. (Capitals)
Want to get your mind blown a little bit? Check out these photos of young and very young Mike Babcock. (BarDown)
Former WWE star CM Punk’s passion for the Chicago Blackhawks is no secret, but you can find out more about his fandom here. (The Hockey News)
Alex Killorn believes that his mom is more impressed with his degree than his NHL career. Well, it is from Harvard. (Tampa Bay Times)
More on Joel Quenneville’s decision to go with “fresh legs.” (CSNChicago.com)
The “ripple effect” of Babcock’s contract. (Sportsnet)
Clearing the defensive zone might not be so clearly beneficial. (Jen LC)