Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

How Safe Is Jeff Blashill's Job?

12/28/2020 at 10:35pm EST

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

How much improvement would Yzerman need to see for Blashill to continue on with this rebuilding effort in Detroit? That depends on how anxious Yzerman is to bring in his own hand-picked coach, and how close the GM thinks he is to putting a legitimate playoff contender on the ice. His answers – and his actions – back in May were telling on both fronts. Same goes for Blashill’s answers Monday when he was asked again in a roundabout way about his job security.

“There’s no quick fixes here,” Blashill said. “That’s just not the reality of what happens in sports and especially the position we’re in. We’re trying to get to a better tomorrow and I’ve committed to our group that we’re not taking any shortcuts.

“There’s no chance that we’re gonna try to win a game on Jan. 14 that, to do that, will hurt us in the long run. We’re gonna try to do things right to build this thing the right way and I’m committed to that.”...

“But we’ll get a chance to prove whether we’re stronger,” Blashill said. “Until you prove it on a night-to-night basis … we’ll see.”

And soon, considering the Wings will play 10 games in 18 days once the puck drops in a few weeks. Just how ready the team is remains to be seen. Some players – like defenseman Filip Hronek and Filip Zadina – have been playing on loan in Europe the past couple months, while others like Larkin and Mantha have been skating in group workouts in Detroit since Thanksgiving.

“(But) you don’t know for sure how guys are gonna be, you don’t know for sure how guys are gonna mesh, you don’t know any of those things,” Blashill said. “When you have a whole bunch of new people you probably have a lot of question marks, you have a lot of unknown. But that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing. That can be a great thing.”

So can optimism, I suppose, which is where Blashill knows he has to start if he wants to see this thing through.

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