The Detroit Red Wings announced today that they have extended head coach Jeff Blashill. As of right now, it is unclear how long Blashill’s contract runs. Following the news, general manager Steve Yzerman released the following statement:
UPDATE: #RedWings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman today announced that Jeff Blashill has agreed to a contract extension to remain head coach of the Red Wings.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) May 18, 2021
Detroit Red Wings Extend Jeff Blashill
Blashill is one of the longest-tenured coaches in the NHL. He’s been behind the Detroit bench since 2015 when Mike Babcock left to coach the Maple Leafs. Since then, he’s put together a 172-221-62 record. In addition to Blashill’s extension, the Red Wings announced that they will not retain the services of assistant coach Dan Bylsma.
This is Blashill’s second contract extension since his first in 2019. Blashill has seen a tough roster transition since seizing the reins in Detroit. He’s been around since the departure of former captain Henrik Zetterberg and has now seen a newfound captain in Dylan Larkin.
What This Means for the Future
Initially, Blashill was signed as a development-minded coach. He’s done a fair job of it since, seeing the rise of players like Filip Zadina and Michael Rasmussen. Having said that, there has been a fair share of criticisms of Blashill’s lack of creativity in the offensive end. Blashill emphasizes two-way play. This has resulted in the Red Wings scoring at a lower rate than most teams while preventing scoring opportunities in their own end. His coaching style is a double-edged sword. While their defence has drastically improved, the Red Wings now have the second-worst offence in the league.
With that being said, the wording of the statement implies that Blashill’s on a short leash. It’s likely that this is his make-it-or-break-it opportunity as a head coach. Will he showcase creativity or flounder as he has before? Time will tell the tale.
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