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Abel to Yzerman

Sticking With Jeff Blashill

from Steven Psihogios of Yahoo,

When asked about his decision to extend Blashill, Yzerman, as he usually does, provided a response that most hockey executives should pay attention to.

“I feel our team is collectively very competitive,” Yzerman said. “Whether we play well or not every night is different, but we play hard. Our players play hard and I think that’s a reflection of the coaching staff, that they have the respect of the players.”

Yzerman also added the following when discussing Blashill’s coaching philosophies.

“Jeff has really worked with me with transitioning our young players into the lineup, being patient with them,” Yzerman noted. “Not handing them positions or ice time, really forcing them to earn it and guiding them along.”

Unlike most front offices, which demand that coaches must get the most out of young, inexperienced players immediately, Yzerma has afforded Blashill time to prioritize development over instant success. Detroit’s front office has also focused on ensuring that the man behind the bench is the right fit, rather than judging him based on his win-loss record.

Again, unlike most front offices which dump the coach that was there before at the first chance for their preferred candidate, the Red Wings have stuck by Blashill and given him a fair opportunity to prove himself.

Yzerman focuses on the right details, and you’d be foolish to think that all of this continuity hasn’t impacted the team’s early-season success.

Despite many, including myself, believing that the Red Wings were still years away from being competitive, the squad has proven otherwise in the early part of the 2021-22 season. Detroit currently holds one of the two Eastern Conference Wild Card spots, which is impressive when you consider how loaded both the Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions are.

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Still doesn’t make me like him handing spots to veterans like DK despite the on ice results.

Posted by ThatGuy on 12/08/21 at 06:13 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Blash is doing a good job right now. We will see if he can make a top six forward out of Smith that the ESPN color girl seemed to think he can be. The team still seams a little soft and not physical enough for my liking but that is more Steves fault so will see if they make progress moving forward.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 12/08/21 at 07:15 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

If you don’t like Blash, then you don’t like Stevie.

You can criticize Blash as much as you wish, but he’s Stevies guy now - he had the chance to can him and even not resign him. Instead he extended him. For Yzerman to make these statements while he’s normally very quiet - it shows y likes and trusts Blash.

Posted by TreKronor on 12/08/21 at 07:46 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

“Not handing them positions or ice time, really forcing them to earn it and guiding them along.”

Saved for frequent use.

Very clear cut…If you bash Blash, you are bashing Yzerman

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 12/08/21 at 08:33 PM ET

jhpcarrier97's avatar

I don’t like Blass, but the decision has been made and we are going with it.  Steve is doing a great job managing, is Blass doing a great job coaching?  or is it the new assistant behind the bench?

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 12/08/21 at 11:48 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Man: I am sorry that’s failing. Woman: No, no, why? No, no, why? is the perfect response to this article and I don’t think it has anything to do with Yzerman.

People looks at this year and suddenly thinks Blash is this wonderful development coach and that bashing him is anti-Yzerman?

LOL…not even close. It hasn’t been the development of Zadina or Rasmussen or even Erne, Stecher, or Vrana (who has yet to play because of injury) taking the next step from last year. Moving them down the bench and no amount of limiting their ice time is going to make those 1st round picks take the next step under Blash. So don’t talk about development and patience and the other non-sense of this article.

It’s been the last 3 rookies of the month for the most part—-plus ‘lil Bert earlier, Larkin more recently, along with secondary scoring from Namestnikov/Suter/Fabbri that have propelled this team.

Blash isn’t some mastermind patient coach guru that’s developing guys… the rookies haven’t had time to develop yet—it’s been their natural talents and prior team’s coaching that’s shining—along with established veterans at this point whose development is complete: (Bert 27 yrs old in two months, Larkin 25 yrs old, Namestnikov 29 yrs old, Suter 25.5 yrs old, Fabbri 26 yrs old next month) Like it or not those guys are what they are. Sure they can refine, enhance, and tune their games—but they are on the lines where they will peak at. And all these guys have previously talked about how they refined ‘X’ over the summer.

Hronek has been helped by having Leddy as his partner as it became clear that Seider didn’t need a babysitter. That’s not Blash either. With young d-men a good quality vet can be better to development any day compared to a coach. Something that was said by Blash in another article on here.

Yzerman’s comments seem to apply to Veleno and Lindstrom only.

This is classic Cheap—-I mean Chris—Ilitch and his refusal to spend. Saw it in the Correa vs Baez decision with the Tigers….just like I predicted and was ridiculed about not being true ahead of time. Classic good enough vs the best guy that will take the next step business decision. Why spend the money when you don’t have to. That’s the real reason they’re sticking with Blash—-not because he’s developing the guys that are young enough to be developed—it’s the business cost issue.

And until Chirs Ilitch’s teams hit the league average payroll in either sport no one can convince me otherwise (Tigers payroll $123M vs league average $130M, Red Wings roster $64.4M + $7.9M in buyouts vs league average of $78.16M ). Guess what folks, Chris ain’t Mike. Get used to having things that are “good enough.”

Posted by d ca on 12/09/21 at 02:04 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

or is it the new assistant behind the bench?

Lmao this won’t die. Its not backed in logic or statistics. Wings had that 4 PPG game against Chicago in the preseason and since then the fan base wants to anoint Tanguay as the next head coach.

The powerplay has improved, but its bottom third after adding Leddy, Raymond, Seider, and a healthy Bert (and yes, you can use infusion of talent to knock on Blash, too). This team has pretty well scored with just one line all year.

Im not saying he needs to be fired/replaced or whatever. But man, this narrative about him being some savior of offensive and powerplay efficiency that will save the franchise from the evil Blashill has no solid ground. At least Yzerman earned his deity status.

Plus, it really sounds like this is a Blashill hire. Likely with Yzerman’s blessing. So if Tanguay ends up being the guy, we can kiss Blashill’s feet for the find.

Posted by ilovehomers on 12/09/21 at 06:01 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Let me back up that very last part:

“I wanted to find somebody unique, especially from the offensive side of the puck, somebody who thought a little different perspective,” Blashill said. “I wanted to find somebody who thought offensively in somewhat unique ways and ultimately Alex was a great fit for us because of that. He’s got offensive beliefs based on his playing career, playing experience, coaching experience and just how the way his mind thinks hockey.

“One of his greatest strengths will be helping our individual players get better within our structure and find ways to ultimately be more offensive.”



Posted by ilovehomers on 12/09/21 at 06:06 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Good post D CA. At least the player/coach portion.

Blashill is not going anywhere for a while. Unless this team totally tanks at some point this season he is here to stay. I said this before his extension and it is even more apparent now. There is a lot of factors why this team is doing well this year. Some of it is Blash, but most of it is due to the rookie factor that D CA mentioned. If they came in like most rookies do that are not considered the cream of the draft class, we would probably be talking about Blashill’s hot seat. I would not mention Leddy for being a savior. He has struggled at both ends of the ice with Seider and Hronek as partners.

Blashill’s scheme changes are his Achilles heel. Most the games where the wings got romped, they were playing 1-2-2 against fast skating teams. Totally recipe for disaster. Teams that play a trap like Nashville or the last game against Washington; Blashill does not know what to do with. Both those teams for the most part played 1-3-1 and clogged up the neutral zone. This is where blashill countered with a 2-1-2. Wrong place, wrong time imho. 1-2-2 with a dump and chase may have been better. You have to get the 3 opposing players in the neutral zone on their heels to allow your team to penetrate the zone. Plus, you have a goalie in Ned that you can use as an extra offensive defensemen. The guy can move the puck quickly up to the puck carrier if needed. This is a huge advantage.

The play off the boards has not improved with more talent. That is on coaching.

Regarding the PP, it is better. Even if marginally better, it is better. Tanguay has done a Real Good job tongue wink with the players he has been given to use. When you have players out there like DDK it makes it hard to be competitive. From the last practice I see Veleno is out there. This is much better choice than Gagner or Rowney.

I expect Blashill to be here next season. Beyond that, who knows. I am enjoying the Wings play thus far. But Teams are already keying on Raymond and Seider. That will have an affect. We will see how Blashill counters that. With Vrana coming back soon and everyone healthy, I think this team will be on the playoff bubble for sure.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 12/09/21 at 06:52 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 12/09/21 at 06:52 AM ET

I think this is a very fair and reasonable viewpoint.

Posted by ilovehomers on 12/09/21 at 08:59 AM ET


If you don’t like Blash, then you don’t like Stevie.

That’s just silly and I’ve done nothing but stand up for Yzerman since he came back.  TONS of people bashed the he’ll out of him last season and the “yzerplan”  those guys are hushed now.  I think for myself though and ai think Blashill lacks next level coaching ability.  It’s inconsequential what I think though but to tell me I hate Yzerman, probably my favorite player of all time who I’ve done nothing but defend HERE… come on

Posted by ThatGuy on 12/09/21 at 01:00 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Wow, who said you hate Yzerman?

What is silly is to have so much anger against Blash every single day no matter what. It’s a sad outlook.

Posted by TreKronor on 12/09/21 at 01:35 PM ET


I think it’s kind of silly to equate any criticism/skepticism of Blashill to criticism/skepticism of Yzerman. Steve gets the final say, but I think we can all agree this team (and coaching staff) is still a work in progress. Would you swap out any other piece and say the same? “If you don’t like Danny Dekeyser, you don’t like Stevie” or “If you bash Danny, you bash Steve”? 

I get it, Steve has said nice things about blashill. That doesn’t mean he plans to let him guide this team into the future, it means he’s doing a sufficient job to meet current expectations.

Posted by MZ2215 on 12/09/21 at 03:13 PM ET


by TreKronor on 12/09/21 at 01:35 PM

Did you miss your quote?

Back to the ignore list I guess.  Red wings are a hobby st the end of the day.  One I love but honestly irl I’m indifferent unless I’m a fan, to NhL employees. Players to managers.  I participate here to take a break from running a business and raising a family.  I enjoy thr convo most the time here so participate but could do without the people who take every post personal.  I wouldn’t have even responded if you didn’t blatantly post your nonsense statement.  And I felt bad because of your posting about concussions and what not which is why I took you off my ignore list.  I honestly have spent way too much time even writing this.

Posted by ThatGuy on 12/09/21 at 05:19 PM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

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