Ansar Khan of Mlive answers questions from fans, the first one regarding Jeff Blashill.
Blashill has one year remaining on his contract. I think Holland’s future with the organization will be determined before Blashill’s. If Holland returns, will it be his call on whether Blashill stays or goes, or will ownership insist on a new coach?
A few things that Holland or whoever makes the decision might consider:
Were the team’s shortcomings due more to coaching or lack of talent? Did Blashill have enough good players at his disposal to lead this team to a significantly better record?
Have younger players shown growth under Blashill, specifically Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou, and to a lesser extent Martin Frk and Tyler Bertuzzi, since they’ve been here only one season?
Can Blashill find a way to get back on track veterans who have regressed, like Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist?
Has his message gotten stale after only three years, especially with younger players who he often singles out?
Is there (or will there be) a coach available to whom you want to make a three- or four-year commitment, one who is willing to take on a rebuilding project?
Does ownership want to pay two head coaches next season, or would it prefer Blashill finish his contract during what figures to be another long rebuilding year?
I don’t have a good feel for which way they will go. If they make a change, Dave Tippett, the former Dallas and Arizona coach, is a possibility. You would think Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson would be candidate, but maybe they would be hesitant to go that route again after it didn’t pan out with Blashill.
read on for more Q & A, including the future of Ken Holland...