The Detroit Red Wings have made a decision about their head coaching position. General manager Steve Yzerman has used his Tampa Bay Lightning connections to hire assistant coach Derek Lalonde. News of the hiring broke early Thursday evening.
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) June 30, 2022
Detroit Red Wings Hire Derek Lalonde as Coach
Lalonde becomes the 28th head coach in the team’s illustrious history and replaces Jeff Blashill. The 49-year-old has been with Tampa Bay for the last four seasons. He was part of the two-time Stanley Cup winners and was a head coach of the Iowa Wild. Lalonde led the Wild from 2016 to 2018 before taking a job with the Lightning.
The Brasher Falls, NY native was part of the Wings organization previously as the head coach of the ECHL Toledo Walleye. He guided the team during 2014-16 before moving up the AHL. The longtime NHL assistant also coached the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL.
Lalonde played college hockey at SUNY Cortland after his high school career in Upstate New York. He’s also worked on the collegiate level with Hamilton College and Lebanon Valley before moving up to Division I and working with Denver and Ferris State.
“I’m very pleased to announce Derek as our new head coach,” Yzerman said in a statement. “He has proven himself as an excellent coach at every level and has spent the last four seasons in the National Hockey League as part of a very successful program in Tampa Bay. We feel he is ready to take the next step in his career as the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings.”
What it Means
The job came down to Lightning assistants Lalonde and former NHLer Jeff Halpern. However, it seems like Yzerman went with Lalonde. Both were very worthy candidates and it Halpern will likely get a chance in the future with another club.
Lalonde takes over a team that has shown some promise, but still has plenty of youth. Detroit hasn’t made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six seasons after 25 straight playoff apperances. He’s got a tall task, but he seems worthy of his first shot at an NHL job,