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Red Wings’ other asisstant coach named: Bill Peters joins Jeff Blashill

Updated 9x at 3:45 PM: For the record, here’s my initial take: Babcock suggested to various interviewers over the past two weeks that he was leaning toward younger and/or less proven coaches who would provide both new voices and the kind of drive that yielded promotions for McLellan, MacLean and McCrimon. As MLive’s Ansar Khan notes, Bill Peters has both pro experience in the AHL and familiarity with Babcockas he was one of Babs’ assistants with the Spokane Chiefs, and as for Blashill…He’s as young and unproven as they come at the NHL level, which is probably a good thing. Blashill’s also a former goalie!

Per the Red Wings’ Twitter account, former Rockford IceHogs coach Bill Peters will join Jeff Blashill behind the Red wings’ bench:

The Red Wings have named Bill Peters and Jeff Blashill as Assistant coaches. Both coaches have signed three-year contracts.

Peters spent past three seasons as the Head Coach of Rockford (AHL), while Blashill was behind the bench at Western Michigan University.

Blashill officially resigned as Western Michigan’s coach this morning, and he spoke at length with the Kalamazoo Gazette’s Graham Couch about joining the Wings and coach Mike Babcock in the middle of July (which doesn’t leave Western Michigan with much time to find a new coach)

“When I received the call, it was totally out of the blue and it was something I hadn’t even thought of until that moment,” Blashill said this morning, two hours before he was scheduled to address any other media. “My focus was on building Western into an elite program. Once I was offered the position (with the Red Wings), it was a situation where it was a hard decision to leave Western because of how great I think it is here and the fact that I believe this program is going to win at an elite level here in the upcoming future starting this year.”
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“That was really difficult, but the bottom line in the decision was the chance to coach at the National Hockey League level for the best organization in sports in the Detroit Red Wings and work under a coach who is widely considered one of, if not, the best coach in the National Hockey League in Mike Babcock and that was just too great an opportunity to pass up.”

In his only season at WMU, Blashill led the Broncos to their first CCHA title game appearance in 25 years and the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 15 years. He served as the coach and general manager of USHL’s Indiana Ice before that, leading the Ice to the league title in 2009, after stints as an assistant coach at Miami of Ohio and at his alma mater, Ferris State University. Blashill, who has no professional coaching experience, said his role on the Red Wings’ staff has not yet been defined.

“I know I’m going to get together with Mike (Babcock) and whoever they name as the other assistant and we’ll discuss dividing up responsibilities,” Blashill said. “I think from Mike’s standpoint, he just wanted to get the right two guys in terms of guys he believes in and then discuss responsibilities.”

Blashill made sure to state that he’s not leaving for a bigger paycheck…

“(WMU athletics director) Kathy Beauregard and the board of trustees stepped up and gave me a great salary, so this was not something where I was leaving for more money at all,” said Blashill, whose guaranteed salary was bumped up to $275,000 in April, making him one of the top 10 highest paid coaches in college hockey. “It’s not something at all where I was looking to leave Western Michigan. It was just absolutely about an outstanding opportunity that I wanted to take.”

And Blashill finds himself in the same position as Ian White and Mike Commodore—scrambling to find a home in Detroit and get his family settled before the school year begins:

“There’s a lot of personal issues to work through with selling the house and finding a place in Detroit,” he said. “The season doesn’t start for a while, but there’s a lot of planning that goes into it. I need to get over to Detroit soon enough to get my oldest boy in kindergarten.”

Update #2: Here’s the Wings’ official press release regarding both coaches, per DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:

The Red Wings welcomed two new assistant coaches to the organization for the 2011-12 season, including one who worked for Mike Babcock more than a decade ago.

Jeff Blashill and Bill Peters are the new assistants who will flank Babcock behind the Wings’ bench, filling the voids left by the departures of Brad McCrimmon, who is now coaching in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, and Paul MacLean, now head coach of the Ottawa Senators.

However, unlike their predecessors, Blashill, who coached at Western Michigan University last season, and Peters, who was the head coach at AHL Rockford for the last three years, both are NHL rookies. Yet both men have been championship-caliber coaches wherever they have been.

“Rockford is a very, very tough team to coach against,” said Grand Rapids coach Kurt Fraser, who is in Traverse City this week as part of the coaching staff at the Red Wings’ prospects camp.

“I’m sure that Jeff will do a great job with Detroit,” Fraser said. “Every time we went into their building, they competed hard. And he had a lot to do with that. The goaltending that he had was great and the team in front of him was great, and obviously that’s a coaching thing.”

Peters coached with Babcock when the two were in Spokane of the Western Hockey League. Peters was a midseason replacement on Babcock’s staff during the 1996-97 season and returned to the same post in 1999 – Babcock’s final season with the Chiefs – where he stayed until 2002.

After three seasons at the University of Lethbridge, Peters returned to Spokane, but this time as head coach, and he helped the Chiefs capture the Memorial Cup in 2008, the same year that the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. Peters is third all-time in Chiefs’ history with 111 coaching victories in just 216 games. Babcock’s 228 wins still sits atop the Chiefs’ list.

In 2008, the Chiefs tied a franchise record for most wins (50) and set new marks for points (107) and fewest goals allowed (160).

Most recently, Peters was the most-tenured coach in Rockford IceHogs’ history, spending the last three seasons at the helm of the Chicago Blackhawks’ top AHL affiliate. During that time, Peters guided the IceHogs to a 122-97-7-14 record, including back-to-back 40-win seasons in his first two campaigns.

While at Rockford, Peters helped groomed 28 different players for the NHL, including Stanley Cup champion goalie Antti Niemi and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Born in Detroit, but raised in Sault Ste Marie after his family moved to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula when he was just 3-years-old, Blashill has been a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) lifer.

“I’m sad to see him go, but it’s a good opportunity for him,” said Western Michigan defenseman Danny Dekeyser, who is a free agent invitee to the Wings’ prospect camp.

“He sets standards high and he makes his players play up to those standards,” Dekeyser said. “He’s tough on making you do well, and he’s not going to let you slid on anything, whether it’s with curfew or being to the rink on-time. He demands a lot, but I think that’s what makes everyone better.”

A collegiate goalie at Ferris State University, it didn’t take long for Blashill to jumping into coaching after his senior season in Big Rapids, Mich. He quickly latched on to an assistant position with the Bulldogs in 1999 and after three seasons at Ferris and another six at Miami (Ohio), Blashill took a head coaching gig with the Indiana Ice in 2008, and led them to the USHL championship in his first season.

Last year, Blashill, 37, returned to the CCHA as the boss bench at WMU and earned national coach of the year honors from two college hockey publications.

Blashill rejuvenated the Broncos, which had a losing record a season earlier. Under, Blashill, the Broncos improved to 19-13-10, finished forth in the CCHA regular-season, but managed to reach the CCHA tournament championship game before falling to Miami at Joe Louis Arena.

“Before we came to this cap, we were in Kalamazoo and (Blashill) mentioned to us that he had a chance at getting the job,” Dekeyser said. “We didn’t know for sure, but now he’s got the job and we’re excited for him.”

So Blashill’s 37, not 35. So he’s older than most of the Wings’ players.

Update #3: Per Red Winger in the comments section, here’s the Rockford IceHogs’ website’s biography of Peters:

Bill Peters is the most tenured coach in Rockford IceHogs history. The 2011-12 season marks Peters fourth behind the bench of the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) top AHL affiliate. During his first three seasons, Peters has compiled a record of 122-97-7-14 (.552) and his teams have recorded winning seasons in all three campaigns.

The Three Hills, Alberta native was named the eighth head coach in IceHogs history and second in the American Hockey League as the top affiliate of the Blackhawks on August 1, 2008.

Peters helped guide the AHL’s second youngest team in 2010-11 to a 38-33-4-5 record in 2010-11. Since Peters became head coach in Rockford, he has helped graduate 28 different players into the NHL including Stanley Cup Champion goalie Antti Niemi, defensemen Jordan Hendry and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

His achievements at the pro level come on the heels of incredible success at the junior level for Peters. In his third and final year as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs in 2007-08, he led the Western Hockey League champions to the Memorial Cup championship, the highest award for a team in Canadian junior hockey.

In July 2008, the 46-year-old was named the head coach of the U-18 Canadian National Team, serving in that role through Canada’s sweep (4-0) of the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Canada beat Russia 6-3 on Aug. 16, 2008 in the Gold Medal game after outscoring their opponents 19-8 in the primary round.

Peters started his hockey operations career as a scout with the Spokane Chiefs. In the 1999-2000 season, he rejoined the coaching staff under the leadership of 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Head Coach Mike Babcock, serving in that role until 2002. After three years with the University of Lethbridge team in 2004-05, he again went back behind the bench of the Spokane Chiefs, but this time as the head coach.

In three seasons, Peters finished third on the Chiefs franchise coaching list with 111 wins in just 216 games. Under his leadership, the Chiefs improved in wins and points each season, including a 14-win and 27-point jump from 2006-07 to 2007-08. Spokane tied a single-season franchise record with 50 wins and set franchise marks with 107 points and fewest goals allowed in a single season (160, 2.22 per game) in 2007-08, the season that culminated in a 4-1 win over the host team, the Kitchener Rangers, in the Memorial Cup.

Peters and his wife, Denise, have two children, Aleze and Ayden.

Update #4: Here’s the Wings’ official, official release:

RED WINGS NAME BILL PETERS AND JEFF BLASHILL TO COACHING STAFF

…Highly-Experienced Coaches Each Sign Three-Year Contracts…

Detroit, MI… Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the team has hired Bill Peters and Jeff Blashill as Assistant Coaches. Both gentlemen have signed three-year contracts. As per club policy, no further details on either of these deals will be disclosed.

“To succeed in the National Hockey League, you constantly have to try and stay ahead of your opponents’ systems and strategies,” said Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock.  “In looking to fill our coaching staff, I wanted successful and innovative coaches that would challenge us with new ideas in order to continually help the Red Wings become a better hockey team.  I’m very happy to welcome Jeff Blashill and Bill Peters to the Red Wings coaching staff.”

Peters, 46, spent the past three seasons as the Head Coach of the Rockford IceHogs (AHL) where he amassed a record of 122-97-7-14 in addition to a pair of Calder Cup Playoff appearances. Prior to his tenure with the IceHogs, Peters led the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs to the 2008 Memorial Cup title as champions of the Canadian Hockey League in the final season of his second stint with the team. Peters also was a member of Babcock’s staff in Spokane in the late 1990’s prior to coaching the University of Lethbridge Hurricanes (CIS) for three seasons. The Three Hills, Alberta, native also has impressive international credentials, having served as Head Coach of the Gold Medal-winning Team Canada at the 2008 U-18 Junior World Cup.

Blashill, 37, spent the 2010-11 season behind the bench at Western Michigan University where he led the Broncos to their first berth in the CCHA Championship Game since 1986 after turning in a 19-13-10 regular season record and defeating the top-ranked University of Michigan Wolverines 5-2 in the tournament semifinals at Joe Louis Arena. For his efforts, Blashill was a finalist for the CCHA Coach of the Year Award and was named National Coach of the Year by College Hockey News, USCHO.com and Inside College Hockey. The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, native has previously served as Head Coach and General Manager of the USHL’s Indiana Ice, with whom he captured a Clark Cup title as league champions in 2009. Prior to his two-year stint with the Ice, Blashill served as an Assistant Coach at Miami University from 2002-08 and at Ferris State, his alma mater, from 1998-2002. The former goaltender and father of three has been a member of Team USA’s coaching staff three times – at the 2009 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championships and the 2006 U-18 Junior World Cup.

Update #4: MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms….

In addition to former Western Michigan coach Jeff Blashill, the Detroit Red Wings have named Bill Peters as their other assistant coach.

Peters was the head coach for the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs the past three seasons, where he compiled a record of 122-97-7-14.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock interviewed plenty of well-known candidates with NHL experience but chose a pair of assistants with no NHL coaching experience, looking for fresh voices, new ideas.

Peters coached with Babcock at the major junior level in Spokane (WHL).

And here’s the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness’s initial take:

Rockford IceDogs coach Bill Peters will assist Wings coach Mike Babcock next season.

Western Michigan coach Jeff Blashill will be the other assistant coach.

Neither coach has NHL experience.

Babcock and Peters have coached together before.

Peters, who has coached the last three seasons in Rockford of the American Hockey League, coached with Babcock in Spokane of the Western Hockey League. Peters came on at the midway point of the 1996-97 season. He returned to the same post in 1999 and stayed until 2002.

Update #5: Here’s the AHL’s release...

The Detroit Red Wings announced Friday the hiring of Bill Peters as an assistant coach.

Peters, who signed a three-year contract with the Wings, had been the head coach of the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs since 2008.

Peters coached with Detroit head coach Mike Babcock when the two were in Spokane of the Western Hockey League. Peters was a midseason replacement on Babcock’s staff during the 1996-97 season and returned to the same post in 1999 – Babcock’s final season with the Chiefs – where he stayed until 2002.

After three seasons at the University of Lethbridge, Peters returned to Spokane, but this time as head coach, and he helped the Chiefs capture the Memorial Cup in 2008.

From 2008-11, Peters was at the helm of the Chicago Blackhawks’ top affiliate, guiding Rockford to a 122-104-14 record and two Calder Cup Playoff appearances.

While at Rockford, Peters helped groomed 28 different players for the NHL, including Stanley Cup champion goalie Antti Niemi.

And the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan confirms…

The Wings have announced the signing of two new assistant coaches, Bill Peters and Jeff Blashill.

Blashill, 37, was the head coach for Western Michigan last season.

Peters, 46, spent the last three three seasons as head coach of the Rockford IceDogs of the American Hockey League.

“To succeed in the National Hockey League, you constantly have to try and stay ahead of your opponents’ systems and strategies,” said Wings coach Mike Babcock. “In looking to fill our coaching staff, I wanted successful and innovative coaches that would challenge us with new ideas in order to continually help the Red Wings become a better hockey team.”

Update #6: Here’s NHL.com’s release...

“Bill has been a great teacher and a valuable resource in the development of our many prospects in Rockford the last three seasons,” said Blackhawks Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. “I want to thank him for his dedication to the growth of the Blackhawks organization and certainly wish him well in Detroit.”

The Red Wings had to replace both of Babcock’s assistants from last season, because both left for head coaching positions. Paul McLean left to become the head coach of the Ottawa Senators, while Brad McCrimmon is now in charge for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the KHL.

Which quotes from the Rockford IceHogs release:

Rockford IceHogs Head Coach Bill Peters announced on Friday that he has accepted an assistant coaching position with the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings.

Peters is the longest tenured coach in IceHogs history, spending three seasons behind the bench while compiling a record of 122-97-7-14. The Three Hills, Alberta native guided the Hogs to a winning season during every campaign he coached in Rockford.

“Bill has been a great teacher and a valuable resource in the development of our many prospects in Rockford the last three seasons,” said Blackhawks Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. “I want to thank him for his dedication to the growth of the Blackhawks organization and certainly wish him well in Detroit.”

Since Peters became head coach in Rockford, he helped graduate 25 different players into the NHL including Stanley Cup Champion goalie Antti Niemi, defensemen Jordan Hendry and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers confirms, too.

Update #6.5: so does the Free Press’s George Sipple.

Update #7: Via RedWingsFeed, the Kalamzoo Gazette’s David Drew offers a Scouting Report on Blashill:

As a leader

One of Blashill’s best attributes is his ability to communicate. When he spoke, players listened. He never lost control of a huddle, be it after a bad goal during a game or when something needed to be said in practice. Practice was taken very seriously and Broncos players often remarked that practices were much more grueling than games. Joking and laughing was a rarity during practice, but he clearly understands the importance of keeping a loose vibe, as seen in his participation in Thursday post-practice shootouts.

Blashill held high expectations not only for his players, but for himself and his staff. The case of Jerry Kuhn is a prime example of Blashill’s ability to motivate. Kuhn was a senior goalie who rode the bench behind a better goalie for the majority of his career and developed a losing attitude. Blashill challenged him and Kuhn became one of the best goalies in the conference.

Behind the clipboard

The word Blashill used more times than any other is “process.” It seems to be at the root of his philosophy and how he coaches. He believes in going about things the right way ultimately pays off. During his time as an assistant at Miami of Ohio, Blashill helped develop the RedHawks into an excellent penalty-killing team, a reputation they still hold today. His penalty kill is not an overly aggressive one, but rather a read-and-react kill which emphasizes positioning. Defensively, Blashill implemented an aggressive style and continually preached winning puck battles and digging pucks out at the boards, and spent a good amount of time in practice working on those things. Offensively, Blashill valued puck possession more than anything. His offensive schemes differed depending on the opponent, but Blashill preached continually about the importance of not committing silly turnovers.

Overall

It’s hard to bet against Jeff Blashill being successful in whatever role he will take on with the Red Wings. He’s a winner. There’s an aura of confidence about him. In his first season at WMU, he took a bottom-dwelling program to the brink of a conference championship. As he joins a Red Wings organization loaded with talent and winning experience, I believe Blashill’s impact will be immense.

Update #7.5: Also via RedWingsFeed, here’s Art Regner’s take on the hirings:

Like always, Babcock is looking to bring the Red Wings to that next level, and choosing your coaching staff wisely is a big contributor.

“What I’m looking for is two guys to come in and make our program better, I’m looking for ideas,” said Red Wing coach Mike Babcock said back in June when asked about potential assistant coaching candidates. “I want to be a better coach in the National League and in order to do that I’ve got to change, we need change.” 

With today’s announcement that former Western Michigan coach, Jeff Blashill and former Rockford IceHogs coach Bill Peters have been named as Babcock’s assistants, replacing the departed Paul MacLean (Ottawa) and Brad McCrimmon (Russia), Babcock’s change could be viewed as out of the box.
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“In order for our team to stay on top the coaches have to get better,” Babcock told me, back in June. “I want to find a way to invigorate our coaching staff and our players.  I want guys who have a lot of passion, a lot of energy, that are fired up and bring it every day.”

Knowing Babs, it’s not a stretch to conclude that he’s found those qualities in Blashill and Peters.

Update #8: The Kalamazoo Gazette’s David Drew states the obvious—Western Michigan University’s players are shocked by Blashill’s departure—including one of the Wings’ camp attendees:

“It was pretty surprising how fast it happened,” sophomore defenseman Danny DeKeyser said. “He met with us and told us he was one of the finalists. He said he would know by Friday. It happened kind of quick. I was a little shocked. I’m excited or him. I’m going to miss him at Western.”
...
DeKesyer is confident WMU officials will bring in the right coach.

“I think they need someone to carry on what he (Blashill) started,” DeKesyer said. “He kind of set the mark for the organization. He pushed us to be better. We need someone to keep the ball rolling and stay on us and make us reach our potential.”

And Fox 32 posted a non-embeddable video of Ken Holland (who is not here today) talking about the hiring.

Update #9: The Kalamazoo Gazette’s Graham Couch offers mmore from Blashill...

Blashill’s Broncos were lucky sometimes. For example, had senior goalie Jerry Kuhn not emerged, it’s a completely different season. But they were also good And that was part of the final message Blashill delivered to his team Friday morning.

“I told them even with (me leaving), they understand what it takes fully to win at the highest level here and that I expect great success from this program in coming years and in future years, regardless of me leaving,” Blashill said, the scrunching skin on his forehead a sign that this wasn’t a joyful day for him. “They have great leadership, they have great talent and they have the understanding the extraordinary commitment level that it takes.”

Blashill didn’t want to leave. Not this summer.

“I wish it’d been five years from now,” he said solemnly, chatting informally after the interview.

But this is his dream and it might never come again. Not in a sport where college rarely acts as a direct feeder to the National Hockey League in the coaching ranks.

“The fact that it was the Detroit Red Wings weighed very heavily,” Blashill said. “The fact that it’s Mike Babcock who’s widely considered one of the best coaches in the NHL weighed very heavily. The fact that without pro experience I was told a few years ago it was going to take a special opportunity. You just don’t know when those are going to come around again. I didn’t want to sit back 10 years from now and say ‘I wish I would have done that.’ I don’t want to live with those regrets.”

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Comments

Red Winger's avatar

Wow, Babs going with a couple unknowns, though the AHL has been fertile ground lately for the NHL as far as coaches go.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 07/08/11 at 01:50 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

From his former team’s site:

Bill Peters is the most tenured coach in Rockford IceHogs history. The 2011-12 season marks Peters fourth behind the bench of the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) top AHL affiliate. During his first three seasons, Peters has compiled a record of 122-97-7-14 (.552) and his teams have recorded winning seasons in all three campaigns.

The Three Hills, Alberta native was named the eighth head coach in IceHogs history and second in the American Hockey League as the top affiliate of the Blackhawks on August 1, 2008.

Peters helped guide the AHL’s second youngest team in 2010-11 to a 38-33-4-5 record in 2010-11. Since Peters became head coach in Rockford, he has helped graduate 28 different players into the NHL including Stanley Cup Champion goalie Antti Niemi, defensemen Jordan Hendry and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

His achievements at the pro level come on the heels of incredible success at the junior level for Peters. In his third and final year as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs in 2007-08, he led the Western Hockey League champions to the Memorial Cup championship, the highest award for a team in Canadian junior hockey.

In July 2008, the 46-year-old was named the head coach of the U-18 Canadian National Team, serving in that role through Canada’s sweep (4-0) of the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Canada beat Russia 6-3 on Aug. 16, 2008 in the Gold Medal game after outscoring their opponents 19-8 in the primary round.

Peters started his hockey operations career as a scout with the Spokane Chiefs. In the 1999-2000 season, he rejoined the coaching staff under the leadership of 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Head Coach Mike Babcock, serving in that role until 2002. After three years with the University of Lethbridge team in 2004-05, he again went back behind the bench of the Spokane Chiefs, but this time as the head coach.

In three seasons, Peters finished third on the Chiefs franchise coaching list with 111 wins in just 216 games. Under his leadership, the Chiefs improved in wins and points each season, including a 14-win and 27-point jump from 2006-07 to 2007-08. Spokane tied a single-season franchise record with 50 wins and set franchise marks with 107 points and fewest goals allowed in a single season (160, 2.22 per game) in 2007-08, the season that culminated in a 4-1 win over the host team, the Kitchener Rangers, in the Memorial Cup.

Peters and his wife, Denise, have two children, Aleze and Ayden.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 07/08/11 at 01:52 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m gonna steal that if that’s okay.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/08/11 at 01:58 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I’m gonna steal that if that’s okay.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/08/11 at 11:58 AM ET

No problem, George. Just delete mine if you want.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 07/08/11 at 02:00 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Sounds like two guys who will bring attention back to defense and play without the puck.  Just what we need.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 07/08/11 at 02:06 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Also nice to potentially have some assistant coaches that are going to stick around for more than two years and help build some continuity.

Posted by SK77 on 07/08/11 at 02:16 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Delete? Hell no, you found it and you’ve been credited in the entry.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/08/11 at 02:17 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

ddidn’t think Boughner would quit BJ’s & go to the RW’s he is too much of a stand up guy to bal on 1 team under the premise of his ownership of a Jr. team & then become RW’s Asst. Coach

Posted by Evilpens on 07/08/11 at 02:44 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Boughner genuinely wanted to spend time with his family and get back involved with the Windsor Spitfires, and I’m sure the Wings talked him up for the position, but they were trying out the power of suggestion more than anything else. Boughner’s where he wants to be.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/08/11 at 02:49 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Boughner also wanted to be closer to home (Windsor) and the Wings happen play on the other side of the river. It would’ve been like a win-win.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 07/08/11 at 02:52 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

From his time in the Burgh He seemed as genuine a person as can be

Posted by Evilpens on 07/08/11 at 02:57 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Blashill’s also a former goalie!

Oh great, so he’s insane.

wink

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 07/08/11 at 03:41 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Sounds like great additions to Babcock’s staff - both seem to have strong credentials in the areas of goaltending and defense.  I like Babs’ thinking in terms of staying ahead of the competition by getting younger guys with new ideas.  I think part of the reason it has been tougher for the Wings the past couple of seasons is that other teams have figured out the way they play.  New ideas could be a really good thing!

It also sounds like both guys are excited about the opportunity and feel they have things to learn from working under Babs.  That’s something you would not have gotten from a guy like Ken Hitchcock.

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 07/08/11 at 03:44 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

When he finally retires, Babcock’s legacy will be largely defined by his coaching tree.  By choosing young, talented assistanst, he is not only trying to reinvent the Wings, but he is also accelerating the careers of rising star coaches.

Posted by w2j2 on 07/08/11 at 03:59 PM ET

Avatar

Despite the Wings not landing any of those FA’s we all thought they would go after, I don’t think I’ve been this excited for an upcoming season in awhile. Some fresh faces in the D-corps; two new asst’s who will surely elevate our game (especially defensively) from last season; Brendan Smith will probably get called up on several occassions; JURCO, Riley, Nyquist, this year’s draft class, a bunch of other Europeans whom I haven’t mastered their names yet that are all in the pipe. This game just gets better and better each year, and I don’t think ANY other sport can say that.

Posted by Jesters Dead on 07/08/11 at 04:05 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Wait a minute… none of these guys names start with Mc.  What gives?

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/08/11 at 06:12 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Good, solid choices for assistant, Uncle Mike.  I like it.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/08/11 at 06:22 PM ET

cementslinger's avatar

Wait a minute… none of these guys names start with Mc.  What gives?

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/08/11 at 04:12 PM ET

The Mc’s keep leaving.

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 07/08/11 at 07:09 PM ET

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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.