The Detroit Red Wings have decided the improvement the team saw under Jeff Blashill this season should continue, signing the head coach to a contract extension. General manager Steve Yzerman also announced that assistant coach Dan Bylsma will not return as he is going to pursue other opportunities in 2021-22. The team did not include details on the extension.
Blashill, 47, has been the head coach of the Red Wings since 2015 and with the organization since 2011. He had previously served as head coach of the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins, where he won a Calder Cup in 2013 and won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL Coach of the Year. On three occasions, USA Hockey has tabbed Blashill as the head coach for the World Championship, though he has taken home just a bronze medal during those appearances.
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Blashill is coming back after reports surfaced recently about contract negotiations, but it certainly won’t please every Red Wings fan. Detroit made the playoffs during his first year behind the bench but have been one of the league’s worst in the years since, finishing below the .500 mark in each of the last five seasons. Overall, Blashill has a 172-221-62 record as an NHL head coach and owns just one postseason victory.
After bottoming out in 2019-20, winning just 17 of 71 games, the team did rebound this season under Blashill’s leadership. The group was unlikely to compete for the playoffs as they continued a rebuild, but managed to climb out of the basement and finish ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Central Division. The Red Wings even had an impressive 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning late in the season and several other strong performances down the stretch. That improvement, along with the development of the young players, is likely why Blashill is coming back.
Still, given that the Red Wings haven’t quite turned the corner on their rebuild, it’s unclear if Blashill will actually be the head coach still when the team is really ready to contend.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
I guess Disco Dan wants to try for another head coaching job.
Great, I was looking forward to a new coaching regime. Not 1 player has improved under his watch ! So long season tickets !!
Not so, what about Ernie? Many of the rest are turds that cannot be polished. Hard to win with the shyte. Hence, the long term view through the rebuild. No short cuts, ask the Bolts.
i just think the systems they run are horrible ! Players should improve with good coaching & systems. NOBODY has improved. Ehrne improved because his minutes went up 10 fold and he saw PP time.
I was 50/50 on this but figured he would stay. I’m not disappointed because I heard it was a good locker room and he was respected by his players.
Nobody knows more about what’s going on in that locker room than Yzerman with being there every day and with end of season interviews with the players.
He will be the 1st coach fired next year…
Or get the old Ron Wilson special. Get the extension then in a couple weeks they’ll change their mind and fire him
Zadina and Rasmussen improved. Mantha was a slug and got shipped out. Hard to win with guys like Filpula and Neisen. Seider will be on the Wings next year, and they have a ton of cap space.