The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/25/12 at 12:35 PM ET
Excellent news from Grand Rapids: Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill has re-signed perhaps the best assistant coach in the AHL, inking Jim Paek to a one-year contract extension:
The longest-tenured coach in Grand Rapids Griffins history, Jim Paek will return for his eighth season as the team’s assistant coach after signing a one-year contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings. He’ll work alongside new Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill.
Paek, 45, helped guide Grand Rapids to its best regular season in franchise history in 2005-06, capturing the AHL’s regular championship with a team-record 55 wins, and to additional playoff berths in 2006-07 and 2008-09. He even took a turn as the team’s bench boss for one game in 2008-09, a 4-0 home victory over Philadelphia on Jan. 10, 2009.
After winning two Stanley Cups as a defenseman with Pittsburgh in 1990-91 and 1991-92, Paek earned the right to hoist Lord Stanley’s prize for the third time in 2008 after coaching the Red Wings’ “black aces” during the parent club’s title run. Paek has continued assisting Detroit during the playoffs while also maintaining roles during the Red Wings’ summer development camps and fall prospect tournaments and training camps.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Toronto, Paek became a U.S. citizen on March 16, 2011. As the first Korean to both play in the NHL and have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup, his Penguins jersey is displayed in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. During five seasons in the NHL (1990-95), he tallied 34 points (5-29—34) and 155 penalty minutes in 217 games with Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Ottawa.
Paek began his professional career with a three-year stint in Muskegon, Mich., during which he helped the IHL’s Lumberjacks win the 1989 Turner Cup. He added a fourth and final cup to his resume in 1999 as a member of the IHL’s Houston Aeros.
Upon retiring in 2003, Paek served as head coach of the WHA2’s Orlando Seals before joining Grand Rapids.
Paek’s a brilliant man with all sorts of poise and an inherent ability to teach prospects how to do things the right way without “calling them out” in an embarrassing manner. He’s a wonderful mnetor for the Wings’ next generation and it’s fantastic to hear that he’s going to remain with the team for at least one more year.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.