Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Topic Of The Day Is Jeff Blashill

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Coaches generally bear the brunt of the blame in bad times, so it’s no surprise many fans are calling for Jeff Blashill’s ouster with the Detroit Red Wings on pace for their worst season in 34 years.

Media has speculated whether he might be replaced by former Red Wing Gerard Gallant, who on Wednesday became the seventh coach fired this season when Vegas replaced him with Peter DeBoer.

Blashill is blocking it out and continuing to search for solutions to improve this team.

“I learned right away, in this league especially, not to pay any attention -- especially when it’s not going well, to any of that stuff,” Blashill said. “Certainly, I appreciate the passion of our fanbase 100 percent. I think our fanbase overall has an idea of where we’re at in the building process, more so than when I probably first got the job. I think they understand if you have a salary cap and a draft, then the nature of pro sports is cyclical, and they understand where we’re at in the cycle.”

continued

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Replacing Blashill with former Wings’ player and Yzerman teammate, Gerard Gallant, who was fired Wednesday as Vegas’ coach, is a popular notion right now.

But Larkin, who has had no other NHL coach other than Blashill, fully backed Blashill after Thursday’s practice and highlighted Blashill's strengths.

“We’ve grown together in this league and I have a lot of respect for him,” Larkin said. “He’s a great guy, a great dad, and great coach and he’s well respected in the room.

“He’s my coach, and I’m his player, and that’s about as far as it goes.”

more

added 3:41pm, Post practice talk can be watched below.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

Paul's avatar

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Yzerman told Blashill last summer to focus on the development of the young players more so than wins and losses. The two talk regularly – Yzerman often watches practices and then goes to the coaches’ offices – and the main topic is long-term improvement, not Blashill’s job.

“I don’t bring it up and he doesn’t bring it up,” Blashill said. “I don’t think it really has any real big place. I don’t need to be told I’m doing good or if he wants to tell me we’re not doing a good job, I think it would be more specific as to what area. If there’s something that’s bothering him, he is certainly not afraid to say either our team has to be better at this or I don’t like the way we do this. That’s normal feedback.

“Other than that, I certainly don’t bring up anything else. I ask his advice on how he thinks we’re doing, I want his opinions on how we are playing, I want his opinions on players, I want to make sure that he is involved in that process. He has lots of experience as a player, as a manager, he has seen lots of stuff, so we have long conversations at times, short conversation at times.”

Blashill said he blocks out social media, especially Twitter, where anonymity enables a toxic level of vitriol. Blashill passed the message along to his wife and three children.

more

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/16/20 at 03:01 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I think our fanbase overall has an idea of where we’re at in the building process, more so than when I probably first got the job. I think they understand if you have a salary cap and a draft, then the nature of pro sports is cyclical, and they understand where we’re at in the cycle.

Wishful thinking, but definitely not true. 

Read comments on their FB page, twitter, this site - people understand concepts but they don’t seem to care or think it applies to this team.  Example: 90% of trades proposed by fans.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/16/20 at 03:09 PM ET

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Read comments on their FB page, twitter, this site - people understand concepts but they don’t seem to care or think it applies to this team.  Example: 90% of trades proposed by fans.

Everything you wrote applies equally to the fanbases of every single team in every major sport.

Posted by BaromirBragr on 01/16/20 at 03:29 PM ET

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Blashill said he blocks out social media, especially Twitter, where anonymity enables a toxic level of vitriol.

There’s your problem, Blash. You shouldn’t be reading them in the first place, then you wouldn’t have to block them out.

Posted by BaromirBragr on 01/16/20 at 03:37 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Added a short, post practice video to the post.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/16/20 at 03:44 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Blashill is blocking it out and continuing to search for solutions to improve this team.

And if Steve will just give him another four years, he’s pretty sure he can find a way to actually get everyone on the same page. After all, it is a process.

“He’s my coach, and I’m his player, and that’s about as far as it goes.”

That quote right there is why Larkin is going to make a great Captain.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/16/20 at 03:59 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Everything you wrote applies equally to the fanbases of every single team in every major sport.

Posted by BaromirBragr on 01/16/20 at 03:29 PM ET

I 100% agree that for the most part, keyboard GMs are dumb and don’t understand the either the economics nor the aspects of the underlying labor agreements.  Everything to them is a crystal clear hindsight view, and they’re often spouting off without knowing the critical elements of a decision like a players health, or the health depth, the real demand for a player, etc. etc.

While that’s the scouting report on fans in general, fanbases which have runs of success, and/or have an elevation passion for a sport can be a different breed, and hockeytown is certainly that. Think Maple Leafs fans vs. Columbus, or closer to home Pistons fan vs. Celtics, or football vs. soccer. The bigger the sport is to the region, the more success it historically carried, the more meatheads jump on the bandwagon and scream at the driver from the back.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 01/16/20 at 04:00 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Everything you wrote applies equally to the fanbases of every single team in every major sport.

Posted by BaromirBragr on 01/16/20 at 03:29 PM ET

Well yeah, of course it does.  Blashill was speaking directly about Detroit fans, thus my response was about Blash and about Detroit fans…... 

 

 

Posted by TreKronor on 01/16/20 at 04:31 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Look, I’m certainly not a huge fan of Blashhill, but I genuinely feel bad he is now dealing with the Gallant speculation on top of trying to win with, let’s be honest, a roster of AHL players and guys long past their prime. Couple that with multiple players who are contributing nothing and taking a 1/4-1/3 of the salary cap.

Stevie wasn’t here the past 5-6 years, and Holland left town with his reputation in tact but a tire fire of awful contracts. Unfortunately,  Jeff is taking a unfair share of grief for things he had no control over. Underperforming young players…yes…Stupid , ridiculously over paid veterans…no!

I would support Jeff being out as coach at the seasons end, but I don’t like all the ghoulish speculation he is dealing with now, and I do feel badly for him.

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/16/20 at 05:10 PM ET

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“He’s my coach, and I’m his player, and that’s about as far as it goes.”

What else is he supposed to say??  He won’t be his only coach forever.

I wonder if Stevie had said the same about Nick Polano?

similar situation, I doubt he minded the coaching changes that happened during his career.

At some point the Blashill talk becomes a distraction for the team.  If I were an agent for the RFA’s especially in an arbitration hearing, I would make sure it came up when talking comparable’s. 

Even if Blash isn’t paying attention to social media, you know the young players live on it.

Posted by murph1jj on 01/16/20 at 05:15 PM ET

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Yeah, kind of what I thought, Blashill has been forgiven for the past four years and ongoing failure this year is endorsed. Rebuilding sure,  8 to 2 after the Buffalo debacle… okay.

Posted by Ventr on 01/16/20 at 05:25 PM ET

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That quote right there is why Larkin is going to make a great Captain.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/16/20 at 03:59 PM ET

Agree but, I fear years from now Larkin will ask to be traded to a contender so he has a legitimate chance for a cup, which he will deserve. .  We’ll be able to thank Jeff for is development though.

Posted by Ventr on 01/16/20 at 05:30 PM ET

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What else is he supposed to say??  He won’t be his only coach forever.

Exactly. What did the writer think Larkin was going to say?

Posted by BaromirBragr on 01/16/20 at 05:33 PM ET

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I liked Larkin’s quote.

And feel for the situation Blashill is in (even knowing that being a
big league coach usually means a short tenure, and the salary and prominence are high to go along with the stress and public scrutiny; e.g. not many get a $300,000 buyout for not having an option year picked up).

Unless Gallant is Stevie’s choice and he’s going to bolt elsewhere if
he’s not formally hired now, I’m also ok with Blash coaching out the season and
getting that consolation prize of a buyout and chance to recharge and start again in a less intractable losing situation.

Posted by lefty.30 on 01/16/20 at 05:56 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Since Nov 20th
NHL head coaches fired: 7
Red Wings wins: 5

Posted by Steeb on 01/16/20 at 07:03 PM ET

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I don’t understand fans who think that firing Blashill will materially change anything.  This team is a dumpster fire and no coach is goi g to change that trajectory.  If Yzerman felt that Blashill was the problem, Blashill would’ve been gone already.  It makes zero sense for Yzerman to fire Blashill, zero sense.  Blashill may not be Bowman-esque, but he has won everywhere else he’s been, and there are a few NHL players that loved playing for him and credit him for developing their games, Torey Krug for one, so at the very least let him coach through the season and then re evaluate.

Posted by bababooey on 01/16/20 at 07:59 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

“He’s my coach, and I’m his player, and that’s about as far as it goes.”

I think this is called Stockholm Syndrome…...

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, waiting for YzerMan Plan...... on 01/16/20 at 08:00 PM ET

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Posted by bababooey on 01/16/20 at 07:59 PM ET

And I don’t understand fans that don’t understand that sometimes a coach wears a group out. Growth stagnates and the message no longer gets through resulting in unstructured, undisciplined hockey where they get blown out by 3+ on a regular basis. That situation is exacerbated when the room realizes they’re playing for a lame duck coach that won’t be back next year. Losing isn’t fun, but there can be growth and improvement. Stevie is going to have to make some decisions in this coming off season about who stays and who comes back, Blashill has gotten worse results every year he’s been here. Let’s get a new voice in the room to see if it cues some more inspired play from some guys that have been disappointing to this point in the season.

 

Posted by MZ2215 on 01/17/20 at 06:29 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

I think this is called Stockholm Syndrome…...

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, looking for YzerMan…... on 01/16/20 at 08:00 PM ET

That statement would be funny if there wasn’t so much truth to it.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 01/17/20 at 06:42 AM ET

Primis's avatar

*sigh*

Do people still really believe Gerard Gallant could come in and start winning with this roster?  With this awful defense and a forward corps littered with guys that can’t finish or create or anything offensively?

I don’t like a lot of what Blashill does, but I also know that his roster is impossible to win much at all with.  You can’t ice a team with Daley, Ericsson, Biega, Abdelkader, Perlini, Erne, Filppula, and Nielsen night in, nigh out, and somehow expect you can squeeeeeeeeeze wins out of them.

And that’s not on Blashill, that’s on Yzerman.  And it’s on Yzerman because he’s been here long enough now that he could have done more to cull those guys.  But he hasn’t.

So coach won’t matter.  Not when the GM is clearly embracing the tank for this season.

Posted by Primis on 01/17/20 at 08:03 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Primis,
I agree with many of your points but to me it’s not about winning at.this point but creating winning habits. For example; the wings are Easily getting killed off the boards in the offensive zone, which makes for an easy breakout for the opposing team. These breakouts create a run and gun situation on the D and back checkers for the wings which even a higher skilled team would have issues defending (example Toronto under Babcock).
I have not seen Any evidence of adjustment for the last three seasons to stop this. This non adjustment makes it much easier for teams to walk in and take advantage. This is not on the players, that is coaching.

Good habits and sound game plan creates winning habits that will stay with the kids hopefully all their lives.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 01/17/20 at 08:19 AM ET

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Do people still really believe Gerard Gallant could come in and start winning with this roster? 

No. And nobody is expecting that. Re-read the arguments in favor of canning Blashill. It’s about seeing if a different voice can get better results and the team to play respectable hockey.

Posted by MZ2215 on 01/17/20 at 08:30 AM ET

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Posted by Primis on 01/17/20 at 08:03 AM ET

I couldn’t care less if got more wins by canning Blashill THIS SEASON.  The point of this season was never about the W/L.  The goal for hiring Gallant would be individual progress.  At this point can you argue that any individual is better than at the start of the season?  Something has to give.  The process has stopped.  If Gallant coming in did nothing more than to show progress in AA, Perlini, Anyone, to raise their trade value it would be an absolute win for the future of the team.  As it stand there isn’t a single player that is worth more now than they were at the same time last year.  That says something.

If it is the foregone conclusion that Blash will be done in the off season anyway, we aren’t doing him any favors by keeping him.  And who is going to work harder for a guy that is going anyway?  I have said it before, even canning Blash and making Bylsma the interim would have a strategic advantage.  But now you have a guy in Gallant that nobody thought would be available, just sitting on the shelf.  Nearly every article I have seen says that the players as well as the authors were stunned by him being fired, and that it was a wakeup call to the players.  It is needed here, not renewing an option does not have the same result.

Posted by murph1jj on 01/17/20 at 09:56 AM ET

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Posted by murph1jj on 01/17/20 at 09:56 AM ET

Nailed it.

Posted by MZ2215 on 01/17/20 at 09:59 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I agree with many of your points but to me it’s not about winning at.this point but creating winning habits.
Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 01/17/20 at 08:19 AM ET

Re-read the arguments in favor of canning Blashill. It’s about seeing if a different voice can get better results and the team to play respectable hockey.

Posted by MZ2215 on 01/17/20 at 08:30 AM ET

That’s all assuming the players are good enough though.

And they’re not.  So many of them are simply not.  We have a big enough sample size to show that.  I don’t care who is coaching until the dead weight is stripped away and replaced with actual players.

Posted by Primis on 01/17/20 at 10:05 AM ET

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Posted by Primis on 01/17/20 at 10:05 AM ET

Yeah we’re going to have to agree to disagree if that’s your argument - “it’s impossible for the kids to show signs of improvement and to play prepared, structured, disciplined hockey until the vets are gone”

Posted by MZ2215 on 01/17/20 at 10:17 AM ET

Paul's avatar

In other news, prospect Jonatan Berggren out for the season after shoulder surgery.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/17/20 at 10:32 AM ET

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Posted by Primis on 01/17/20 at 10:05 AM ET

Nobody is expecting him to make these players superstars.  This roster sucks, we get it.  It is simply about making them better than they were, progress, individually.  If they are a shitty player, make them the best shitty player they can be.  You can polish a turd but it will still be a turd. 

Team sucks, yep, standings are what they are.

Nobody has took a step forward this year, nobody.  There is a pretty good argument that they have regressed.  This is unacceptable.  Who they are playing with does not matter, if they are not playing their own position to the highest level they can.  If the player is playing at their peak, and their stats just don’t show it because they are on a line with bad players, then that is unfortunate, but that is not this team.  Bad players are not even playing to their potential.

Posted by murph1jj on 01/17/20 at 10:49 AM ET

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Nobody has took a step forward this year, nobody.

If we’re being fair I think we have to mention Bertuzzi, Hronek and Zadina. The argument can be made that they’re better than they were last year even if that is due to nothing other than a natural learning curve and being in spite of Blashill, not because of him. Outside of those three though it’s hard to find another guy that hasn’t regressed or stayed the same at best.

Posted by MZ2215 on 01/17/20 at 11:07 AM ET

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Posted by MZ2215 on 01/17/20 at 11:07 AM ET

Agreed, “nobody” is possibly to strong, but I was trying to make a point, and i think its still valid.

Posted by murph1jj on 01/17/20 at 11:13 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Tired of this team losing in the fashion that they are losing. Blowout losses, blowing leads, etc. And that’s on Blashill and Co.


But also, Yzerman should make a change. He refuses to. So Yzerman’s inaction is also to blame. What more does he need to see? He wanted to learn more about the team and players, what more does he need?


As the t-shirt says: tRuSt ThE yZeR pLaN!!11!1!!!!

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/17/20 at 11:34 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com