from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
When the Red Wings were threatening new lows a few weeks ago, dropping the occasional 7-1 stinker, the coaching verdict seemed clear. Progress was minimal, and with Jeff Blashill’s contract expiring after his sixth season, change was needed.
And then some things did change. The Wings’ defense tightened and their young players competed harder and they even beat Tampa Bay three times. The Wings don’t have the worst record in the NHL — sixth-worst at 18-27-9, for the record — and with two games remaining, it’s time to ask: Have they improved enough to buy Blashill another year?
By a slim margin, I’d say yes. Not a full-throated endorsement but an acknowledgement he’s faced challenges beyond the massive rebuild, and on most nights, the Wings are competitive. Steve Yzerman hasn’t indicated anything, other than to say he’ll sit down with Blashill “very quickly” after the season, which means a resolution could come soon after the Saturday finale in Columbus.
Yzerman doesn’t make decisions based on loyalty or sentiment, and doesn’t make mandates or threats. He also doesn’t veer suddenly from a charted plan, and in two years as GM here, he has pleaded for patience.