Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Jeff Blashill Is Still The Coach

12/13/2020 at 6:33am EST

A fan wants to know why Jeff Blashill is still the coach for the Red Wings.

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Yzerman opted not to make a coaching change when he took over as general manager in April 2019, which was within weeks of former GM Ken Holland (a close friend of Yzerman’s) giving Blashill a two-year extension. Yzerman has endorsed Blashill multiple times: Before the 2019-20 season, at the trade deadline, and again after the season ended. Yzerman said it’s unfair to judge Blashill based on the 17-49-5 record, because the roster needs to be better before Blashill can be fairly assessed. Yzerman pointed to the fact that over the last three trade deadlines, the Wings have moved out skilled players in order to gain future assets.

No doubt, last season was terrible. But what was Blashill supposed to do about Jimmy Howard, who struggled so much in goal he won only twice in 27 starts?...

Blashill played Jonathan Bernier as much as possible but had to give him a spell now and then. Howard wasn’t able to finish his last two starts.

...Blashill is on the hot seat. He is entering the last year of his contract and will be in charge of an improved roster.

Yzerman has made multiple changes, bringing in forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Bobby Ryan, defensemen Marc Staal, Jon Merrill and Troy Stecher, and goaltender Thomas Greiss. With the caveat that injuries can change things, the perception is the Wings can put together three scoring lines, solid defensive pairs, and have two goaltenders who’ll give them a chance to win.

They don’t look like a playoff team, but they will be expected to be more competitive.

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