Another coaching vacancy has been filled. The Detroit Red Wings announced today that they have hired Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde as the 28th head coach in franchise history. Lalonde will be officially introduced to the media tomorrow at 11:00 AM.
Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman gave the following statement on hiring Lalonde:
“I’m very pleased to announce Derek as our new head coach, 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.”
Lalonde has been a key member of Jon Cooper’s Tampa Bay Lightning staff since 2018-19. Since hiring Lalonde, the Lightning have gone 192-77-21 with two Stanley Cup championships and a third trip to the final. His run of success in Tampa gives him an extremely strong resume, and he comes to the Red Wings widely regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the game.
The connection to Detroit here is obvious: GM Steve Yzerman was the architect of Lalonde’s Lightning team and still has deep ties within the organization. As Detroit looks to exit their rebuild and return to contention, Lalonde is the candidate that provides Yzerman with the best combination of familiarity and great qualifications.
Lalonde was last a head coach with the Iowa Wild of the AHL. He spent two seasons coaching in Iowa, going 69-58-25, failing to make the playoffs in either year. Before then, Lalonde had an extremely successful run as a head coach with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, including managing them to a 47-9-4 2011-12 campaign that saw them finish as champions of the USHL.
In Lalonde, the Red Wings are getting an experienced coach who has won championships at multiple levels. After a historic streak of consecutive years making the playoffs, the Red Wings haven’t been back in a while. With a new coach in tow and several up-and-coming stars including Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider, the future looks bright in Detroit.