from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
Derek Lalonde held up a jersey after the Detroit Red Wings introduced him as their new coach Friday. Standing to his left with a big smile was general manager Steve Yzerman, and the connection was obvious.
Yzerman helped build the Tampa Bay Lightning as their GM from 2010-18 and a senior advisor in 2018-19.
Lalonde joined the Lightning as an assistant to Jon Cooper in 2018-19. He helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021 and come close to winning it again this year, losing to the Colorado Avalanche in six games in the Stanley Cup Final.
But the hiring wasn't that simple, and the path to the Stanley Cup Playoffs won't be that simple, either.
Yzerman worked with Lalonde for only a season, so he didn't hire him because of their relationship. He got great references for Lalonde inside and outside of Tampa Bay, and after interviewing him, he felt Lalonde's personality and philosophy was the best fit.