Entering this season, the second-longest tenured coach in the league behind future Hall-of-Famer Jon Cooper was Detroit Red Wings bench boss Jeff Blashill. After just one playoff appearance (in his first year as coach), though, the rebuilding squad finally decided to move on as they try and begin their rise back toward contention. That makes the 48-year-old Blashill an experienced option on the open market, as he’s been in coaching roles since 1998 and coaching professionally since joining the Detroit organization in 2011. While he doesn’t have the shiniest resume, some of that can be attributed to the poor roster he was given in Detroit.
With a change potentially on the horizon in the Sunshine State behind the bench of the Florida Panthers, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that he’s heard a connection between the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners and Blashill. It’s unclear at this point whether the Panthers will retain interim head coach Andrew Brunette, who was a nominee for the Jack Adams Award this past season after guiding Florida to a 122-point season. It would be a puzzling choice from the Panthers to move on from Brunette for someone like Blashill who hasn’t made any notable achievements at the NHL level, undoubtedly.
- After getting fired by the New York Islanders today, Jim Hiller is on the radar of the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings (among other clubs) for their head coaching vacancies, reports ESPN’s Kevin Weekes. It would be a return to the Red Wings organization for Hiller, who got his first NHL job there as an assistant in 2014-15 after five seasons as the head coach of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. He’s been with the Islanders since 2019-20 and has overseen their two back-to-back runs to the Eastern Conference Final in 2020 and 2021.
- The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf today downplayed the link between the Dallas Stars and Marc Savard for their open spot behind the bench. While Yousuf didn’t rule out Savard as a candidate in the team’s search, he says that nothing from the team has indicated him as a frontrunner.