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Abel to Yzerman

Okay Detroit, Take Your Pick

Or perhaps someone else or even retain Blashill.


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Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

On that list, I’d go Gallant, Laviolette, Babcock, Boudreau, if those four are the only choices.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 02/14/20 at 11:43 AM ET


Gallant or Boudreau. Laviolette by some accounts seems to have some warts, despite his successes. Is it remotely realistic that Babcock would be welcomed back given the transitional state of the franchise?

Posted by Unhealthy Scratch on 02/14/20 at 12:02 PM ET


There is only one choice there- Gallant.

Hard pass on all the other retreads.

Posted by pnwwing on 02/14/20 at 12:03 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I wouldn’t hate Gallant I guess but truthfully?  4 retreads are the best available?

I’ll be VERY curious if Babcock EVER gets another NHL gig.  After the TOR circus, that’s going to follow him anywhere else now.  A loooooot of baggage.

I’d almost rather just have the org pluck someone younger with something to prove.

Posted by Primis on 02/14/20 at 12:51 PM ET


Rikard Grönborg please.

Posted by MZ2215 on 02/14/20 at 01:00 PM ET


Out of those names, Gallant or Boudreau, though I don’t know that either would be interested in Detroit.

I’ll be VERY curious if Babcock EVER gets another NHL gig.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he never coached in the NHL again. Couple what came out after his firing in Toronto with the amount of money the Leafs have to pay him over the next few years and there doesn’t seem to be much reason for him to return to the NHL any time soon.

I’d almost rather just have the org pluck someone younger with something to prove.

Probably for the best.

Maybe with Seider and Tim Stützle on the team next year they’ll go for a German coach.

Posted by BaromirBragr on 02/14/20 at 01:15 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I like Babcock as a coach, but that’s never gonna happen.

Out of the rest, Gallant seems to be the most obvious choice. He seems to be a “players” coach. Not sure that’s always the best thing.

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/14/20 at 01:18 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

From that list, Spuddy or Laviolette. Boudreau, maybe, but only as a stop-gap if Blash gets the axe before the season ends. I was glad to see the back of Babcock, and I def don’t want him, even leaving off the fiasco that surfaced in Toronto.

Posted by Steeb on 02/14/20 at 01:24 PM ET


Boudreau is a great coach. Smart tactics, smart player usage. I think he has a good track record of getting way more out of his teams than the personnel alone would suggest (though the lack of playoff success is going to be too much to get past for some people).

Interesting reading the comments over at the Hockey Wilderness blog. It really does seem like most Wild fans genuinely think he’s a great coach and are puzzled by the timing, even if many believe it would have been time to move on after the offseason. I think it’s a pretty good endorsement from a very knowledgeable fan base.

He’s the only retread I’d seriously consider, personally. But I’d love to see someone new get a chance.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 02/14/20 at 01:27 PM ET

Mr. Fnytelhatt's avatar

Babcock would be either a hilariously terrible or horrifyingly hilarious thing, or maybe both. It is my belief that he is a very good coach, although on my bleak days I sometimes morosely wonder whether coaching isn’t a myth and that coaches have negligible effect on the game - at least at this level. By all accounts (well, Franzén) Babcock is a louse of the first water however, so I wouldn’t mind, in fact would even prefer, if he withdrew to some particularly deep hole in the ground of a remote forest somewhere, to live out his days counting Canadian dollar bills, or Loonies or elk chiclets or whatever the currency is up there.

I’m always and unquestioningly partial to Boudreau though. Stat line: 984:567-302-115. Wish he could have lifted the cup in Washington. I think this is an instance where most people would agree that there is no better coach to be found on the market now or in the foreseeable future (even in the illustrious group of currently-at-leisure coaches with which he is mentioned above), which implies that his firing is supposed to be solving a problem that he was not the cause of. One of those “intangibles” that hockey is full of. What’s a new coach supposed to do? Tell every player to be 8 years younger and not suck?

Posted by Mr. Fnytelhatt on 02/14/20 at 02:12 PM ET


I would love Trotz, but as he is unavailable, I am interested in his long time assistant Lambert.

Posted by VPalmer on 02/14/20 at 02:20 PM ET

0neoftheWings's avatar

gallant or bourdreau. i rather stick with blashill if babcock is mentioned.  i dont think this team need a coach like babcock at the current state they are at.

Posted by 0neoftheWings on 02/14/20 at 02:22 PM ET

Alan's avatar

I’d still much rather have Gallant…

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 02/14/20 at 02:54 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Gallant has too much history with the Wings and Stevie Y not to grab him. And I bet he’d love to jump in and guide a roster full of talented young players in the rebuild. I’d settle for Boudreau, but I really, really want it to be Gallant.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/14/20 at 03:05 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

1) Someone Yzerman has already identified in his mind as an emerging out of the AHL or otherwise.

2) Gerard Gallant though to me, you hire spuddy, Yzerman probably has to commit to getting out of a 100% rebuild effort, and I’d like one more year of that unless we win the lotto.  The other issue is whether Yzerman would be able to fire him as/if needed.

3) Take a chance on an AHL or otherwise coach

4) Bruce Boudreau or Peter Laviolette, which ever wants to be here more, only if options 1-3 fail.

Mike Babcock is not going to come back, at least not in this decade.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 02/14/20 at 03:21 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Yzerman might be thinking outside the box but Gallant is tough to overlook.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 02/14/20 at 03:46 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar


Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 02/14/20 at 04:44 PM ET


No to Babcock of course, as vanishingly unlikely
as that seems anyway.

What I wonder is if someone that stubborn and egotistical
can change at this point in his career. And how much is he willing
to humble himself, relatively speaking, given he was accustomed to
probably seeing himself as the top of the top and the guy with all the leverage
and choices who is pursued by others.

The two big turning points in how I saw Babcock were

1) a long profile
(forget where) in which he was interviewed in his home and there was prominent mention of all the, I guess, heads of large wildlife from Africa he felt it important to pay many tens of thousands of dollars to go and kill have mounted on his walls. I get that hunting is a big tradition and has deep family meaning for a lot of people. Agree to disagree and all of that. But anyone who thinks that he ought to have the heads of endangered wildlife from a distant continent mounted on his walls as trophies to show what a big man he is, is, in my opinion deeply, deeply insecure and empty inside and so glaringly shallow and selfish and deficient in empathy it’s disturbing.

2) The Franzen story. Just virtually unforgivable. He had to know Franzen’s concussion history and at least something about his mental health issues (an area where Babcock has actually publicly spoken out and done some good). And yet he just couldn’t help himself from being a viciously, relentless bully.

Posted by lefty.30 on 02/14/20 at 07:54 PM ET


Re: Gallant, sounds good as far as I know about his reputation and
growth as coach.

Personal relationships seem to loom so large in this sport and it’s
hard to imagine he wouldn’t be right at the top of Stevie’s list.
It seems to make so much sense that it would be intriguing and revealing
if it didn’t happen.

You’d have to think Boudreau would prefer a team closer to contending if he had the choice. Not sure Laviolette has the shelf-life or would have the interest in a team at Detroit’s stage of rebuilding either.

Posted by lefty.30 on 02/14/20 at 08:03 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Gallant or new blood.  Gallant got a lot out of a poorly crafted Columbus team, and he really got the shaft for his accomplishments in Florida.

Boudreau is overrated, and Laviolette has success out of the gate but his message seems to get stale fast.

Babcock is not the coach any team needs for today’s game.  He’s hardwired old school.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 02/14/20 at 08:40 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

So, you ungrateful SOB’s are abandoning Blashill? Im’ shocked! Shocked I say!

That said Gallant or Laviolette.

Then again the YzerMan may need another season to .....yannow, evaluate getting ready to think about planning to begin…..

What a frickin mess…...

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, waiting for YzerMan Plan...... on 02/14/20 at 10:51 PM ET


Then again the YzerMan may need another season to .....yannow, evaluate getting ready to think about planning to begin…

you do know its a “process” don’t you tongue wink

Posted by akwingsfan on 02/15/20 at 01:59 AM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

  Rikard Gronborg.. Please !!!

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 02/15/20 at 04:07 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