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Abel to Yzerman

Jeff Blashill Agrees To A Contract Extension

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman today announced that Jeff Blashill has agreed to a contract extension to remain head coach of the Red Wings. Additionally, Yzerman announced that assistant coach Dan Bylsma will pursue other NHL opportunities in 2021-22.

Blashill, 47, is in his 10th season with the organization in 2020-21, originally joining the Red Wings as an assistant coach for the 2011-12 season before spending three seasons as head coach of the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins from 2012-15. In his six seasons as head coach of the Red Wings, Blashill has overseen a transitional period for the organization and has helped a number of top prospects work their way up the depth chart and become impact NHL players, including captain Dylan Larkin, who is the team's leading scorer in Blashill's tenure, and defenseman Filip Hronek, who led the Red Wings in average time on ice this season for the second-straight year as a 23-year-old. In 2020-21, former first-round draft picks Michael Rasmussen (ninth overall, 2017) and Filip Zadina (sixth overall, 2018) earned full-time NHL roles and saw their responsibilities increased as the season progressed.

Currently the third-longest tenured head coach in the NHL, Blashill guided the Red Wings to a more competitive season in 2020-21, as the team finished 19-27-10 to surpass its 2019-20 season win total (17), despite playing 15 fewer games, and improved from 39 points to 48. Additionally, the Red Wings increased their goals for per game from 2.00 to 2.25 and decreased their goals against per game from 3.73 to 3.00; they won twice as many games by two-or-more goals (14) and seven times as many by three-or-more goals (7); and they took points in 19-of-20 games (17-1-2) when scoring three-or-more goals, an improvement over a 13-7-3 mark in such contests from a season ago. Despite missing multiple key forwards to injury throughout the final month of the regular season, the team picked up points in 10 of its final 14 games (6-4-4). Over Detroit's final 22 games, its team goals against was the sixth-lowest in the league (2.50) and its penalty kill was the NHL's second-best (91.2%). Blashill's overall head coaching record in the NHL stands at 172-221-62, and he ranks sixth in franchise history in both games coached (455) and wins.

At the international level, Blashill was tabbed as head coach of the United States for three-straight IIHF World Championships from 2017-19, and has worked six tournaments for USA Hockey over his coaching career. At the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Denmark, the Americans finished 6-1 in group play and defeated Canada for the second time in the tournament during the bronze medal game, marking the fifth time in the history of the tournament that Team USA won a medal. Blashill previously helped Team USA capture medals at the 2006 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (silver) and the 2009 World Junior A Challenge (gold).

Prior to being named head coach of the Red Wings, Blashill served as head coach of the Griffins and led the team to three of the most successful seasons in the franchise's history, combining for a 134-71-12-11 regular-season record. In 2012-13, the Griffins captured the first of two-straight Midwest Division titles and eventually the first Calder Cup championship in the franchise's 17-year history. No team played more playoff games (50) than the Griffins during Blashill's run as head coach. He won the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL's most outstanding coach in 2013-14 and served as a head coach at the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic.

Born in Detroit and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Blashill joined the Red Wings organization after one season as head coach at Western Michigan University in 2010-11, where he doubled the Broncos' win total from the previous season and led the school to its first appearance in the CCHA championship game since 1986. He finished as a finalist for CCHA Coach of the Year and was named National Coach of the Year by College Hockey News, Inside College Hockey and USCHO.com. Blashill made his head coaching debut with the United States Hockey League's Indiana Ice, compiling a 73-43-5 record as head coach and general manager from 2008-10. Indiana won a franchise-record 39 games in 2008-09 and won the Clark Cup as champions of the USHL.

Blashill began his coaching career with four seasons as an assistant coach for his alma mater, Ferris State University, from 1998-02, where he played goaltender from 1994-98. He later spent six seasons as an assistant coach with Miami University (2002-08), where the RedHawks qualified for the NCAA Tournament four times.

BLASHILL’S COACHING HISTORY

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Comments

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Paul's avatar

Zoom video conference on Tuesday, May 18. Yzerman’s availability will begin at approximately 4:15 p.m., with Blashill’s to follow at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/18/21 at 02:06 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

hahahhahahahhahahahahaha

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/18/21 at 02:11 PM ET

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Look on the bright side….
OK, well there isn’t really one, but at least Disco Dan got fired today.

Posted by Matt_in_MI on 05/18/21 at 02:13 PM ET

Paul's avatar

If only others would have read A2Y on Friday.

This was a sure thing, just did not know the time frame.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/18/21 at 02:19 PM ET

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Is it 2 years?

Posted by VPalmer on 05/18/21 at 02:21 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Look on the bright side….
OK, well there isn’t really one, but at least Disco Dan got fired today.

Posted by Matt_in_MI on 05/18/21 at 02:13 PM ET

Step in the right direction anyways

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 05/18/21 at 02:21 PM ET

Paul's avatar

VP, that is what I was told.  Maybe Yzerman will say more in the presser.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/18/21 at 02:22 PM ET

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This was a sure thing, just did not know the time frame.

The source is gold as you said:)
PP is out which is logical.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/18/21 at 02:25 PM ET

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PP is out which is logical.

PP coach is out I mean

Posted by VPalmer on 05/18/21 at 02:25 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Think about all the reasons you hate Blashill.

Line blender
The process
Him talking in general
Pulling the goalie too early
Teaching players to play both ends
The benchings
The way he talks
Those who wished harm on the guy
The power play
The stagnation of growth in some players
The losing
Etc.

And Yzerman didn’t think he was so bad a coach afterall.

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/18/21 at 02:27 PM ET

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Well, at least we can stop wondering and start looking forward to the firing.

Posted by MZ2215 on 05/18/21 at 02:31 PM ET

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I just threw up my corned beef sandwich.

Posted by exor54 on 05/18/21 at 02:37 PM ET

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I have always said, all Blashill has to do is not get someone hurt, or make the team look bad publicly, outside of its performance.  This team needs to be bad.  It needs the draft to rebuild.  This move means that Yzerman accepts this.  To hire a new coach with something to prove and a resume to build, would be counterproductive.  Embrace the suck, with a new coach this team is still going to be mediocre at best.  That doesn’t help.  When the team is more complete, through draft, free agency, and trades. then hire your new Coach if Blashill doesn’t fit the bill.  This team needs to suck for a couple more years, sorry Blash, you appear to be the right guy for that.  So many key holes, Goal, 1C, and development time.  A new coach would want to be competitive, or why would you hire them.  Again, this team needs to suck.

Posted by murph1jj on 05/18/21 at 02:42 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

I endorse this 100 percent.

Why? Because Steve Yzerman made this decision.

100 percent, unequivocal, absolute faith.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 05/18/21 at 02:43 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

Well, at least we can stop wondering and start looking forward to the firing.

Posted by MZ2215 on 05/18/21 at 02:31 PM ET

Cold comfort……. shut eye

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 05/18/21 at 02:43 PM ET

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Things we know about next season.

The team will be get off to a good start, Yzerman will be applauded for his patience and foresight.

The team will lag, unexplained lapse in compete level.  The roster will be the scapegoat.

The special teams will suck, roster.

The group will right the ship briefly, we’ll point at how much better Valeno is. Gee Jeff is good at development.

The team will wane, only to rally after the games no longer matter.

Jeff will get credit for the meaningless late season rally. SY will say, Jeff has done a real good job.

We will once again be in the bottom 7 again.

But, hey, Seattle.

Posted by Ventr on 05/18/21 at 02:49 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

I guess Blashill isn’t just Holland’s guy anymore.

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/18/21 at 03:04 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

I guess Blashill isn’t just Holland’s guy anymore.

Nope. He’s Yzerman’s. Good enough for me.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 05/18/21 at 03:06 PM ET

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you called it paul, well done.

Posted by rickytarr on 05/18/21 at 03:16 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

How’s this message Hey Hey Hockeytown.  Not 1 year Not 2 years, but a 3 YEAR DEAL.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/18/21 at 03:20 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Zadina has 3 goals in 2 games in the world championships and 6 goals in 49 games in the NHL this year. Sort of a head scratcher why such an offensive outburst. Well…defensive hockey is much more fun to watch who needs goals.

Two more years of Blash excitement hockey. Maybe the power play will improve to add in that offense.

Does this mean a return to more vets on the roster to flip at the trade deadline?

Jobu has never been more excited for the Lions.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/18/21 at 03:24 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

How’s this message Hey Hey Hockeytown.  Not 1 year Not 2 years, but a 3 YEAR DEAL.

So, for the record and on the record, you’re skeptical of Yzerman’s decision? Right? I am fascinated by literally anyone who doubts him.  I mean, we know you’ve been skeptical for months (“Yzerholland” pretty much says it all despite your BS rationale), but you’re specifically critical of Yzerman on this, right?

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 05/18/21 at 03:25 PM ET

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I’m happy Blash is coming back. I hope whoever replaces Bylsma can show our guys how to get in the zone on the PP so Razzie can be the netfront guy he was in the WHL.

Posted by pnwwing on 05/18/21 at 03:33 PM ET

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I’m happy Blash is coming back. I hope whoever replaces Bylsma can show our guys how to get in the zone on the PP so Razzie can be the netfront guy he was in the WHL.

Posted by pnwwing on 05/18/21 at 03:34 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Hey Hey Hockeytown in front of a keyboards right now….

a) Yzerman is one of the best GMs in the NHL, and your opinion of Jeff Blashill was in fact wrongo

b) Jeff Blashill is terrible so by keeping him, Yzerman is a terrible GM

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/18/21 at 03:34 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Thanks rick…, it’s not often I put on my insiders hat on, but felt this one needed to finalized last week while the MSM could not get what they were looking for.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/18/21 at 03:34 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Zadina has 3 goals in 2 games in the world championships and 6 goals in 49 games in the NHL this year. Sort of a head scratcher why such an offensive outburst.

You are being facetious right Poobah?

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 05/18/21 at 03:38 PM ET

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Zadina has 3 goals in 2 games in the world championships

What year you are referring to? This year world championship has not started yet

Posted by VPalmer on 05/18/21 at 03:40 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 05/18/21 at 03:25 PM ET

Here I thought you kept a pulse of the folks around here, and knew what you were talking about, the big chief?  Clearly not.

In Yzerman I trust my friend.  Unlike 99% of this fanbase, I never thought Blashill was a dumpster fire, not saying he’s great, but how could you tell, as this team had zero talent the year before, and little this year, and that’s why they sucked, this only galvanizes that thought.

I went into the year thinking yzerman was going to change just to change the voice in the room, new tempo, new justification for ice, and transition the team to the next phase of competitiveness, but I think Bertuzzi’s back/kneck set that back, Yzerman knows what he has now and going forward, and its why he traded Mantha, and knows next year isn’t going to be a big step forward, and why he’s keeping Blashill.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/18/21 at 03:41 PM ET

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Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0’s pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/18/21 at 03:34 PM ET

c) Yzerman is one of the best GMs in the NHL and Blashill is terrible coach but a useful idiot that can guarantee another high draft pick


If they sign a half dozen washed up depth trash we’ll know exactly what’s going on. If they turn the roster over and bring in prospects Blashill will get his chance to sink or swim. I hope the leash is short.

 

Posted by MZ2215 on 05/18/21 at 03:44 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

You are being facetious right Poobah?

Yeah pretty much. I would have liked a different coach. I think a new coach might be able to bring new ideas to help the players grow.

I don’t hate Blash and I like Steve as GM. I’m not happy with the lack of grit on the team however.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/18/21 at 03:44 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Here I thought you kept a pulse of the folks around here, and knew what you were talking about, the big chief?

Never my claim, MC. Not once.  All I know is a contrarian when I see one, for the sake of being contrary.  Your stances go whichever opposite way the wind blows, in order to be the outlier, the “1 percent” of the fan base, right?

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 05/18/21 at 03:49 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/18/21 at 03:44 PM ET

Agree.

Tomorrow we will here the same ole mantra:
“Blashill has won at every level…..”

Not a hater of the Blashill, but his style of hockey is low chance, low offense boring shit that does not bring the talent of these young guys to the proper level they can reach.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 05/18/21 at 03:50 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick

Putting words in the mouths of some phantom “Hey Hey Hockeytown” monolith, and then arguing with something nobody said is pretty lame.

Posted by Steeb on 05/18/21 at 04:02 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick

Putting words in the mouths of some phantom “Hey Hey Hockeytown” monolith, and then arguing with something nobody said is pretty lame.

Posted by Steeb on 05/18/21 at 04:02 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

What year you are referring to? This year world championship has not started yet

I thought it was the world champs. Zadina, Hronek, and Vrana are all playing on the
CZE team. Maybe I got some bad info but this is what I was referring too.

https://www.reddit.com/r/DetroitRedWings/comments/nd38ux/zadina_gets_his_3rd_in_2_games_this_time_against/

 

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/18/21 at 04:03 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 05/18/21 at 03:49 PM ET

Nope. I tend to take a longer view, can see beyond bloodlust, and understand that change evolves over time, that often contrasts with most fans though on some things like blaming the coach.

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/18/21 at 04:05 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Nope. I tend to take a longer view…

How redolent of you.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 05/18/21 at 04:09 PM ET

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Zadina, Hronek, and Vrana are all playing on the
CZE team.

This is a friendly tournament before World Championship

Posted by VPalmer on 05/18/21 at 04:14 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Posted by VPalmer on 05/18/21 at 04:14 PM ET

Kk. Thanks for the info.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/18/21 at 04:16 PM 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