Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Pros And Cons For Keeping Jeff Blashill

05/06/2021 at 9:05am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

While there have been routs here and there, the Wings, on the whole, have worked hard under Blashill. There has never been chaos in the locker room. His players respect him. From all appearances, he has a good relationship with Yzerman.

There’s also the fact that Blashill doesn’t command the higher-end salary of more experienced coaches, and that’s not an insignificant factor at a time the coronavirus pandemic has left teams scrounging for revenue.

Lastly, there’s this: If Yzerman didn’t think Blashill was doing a good job developing the players who are key to the rebuild — Larkin, Bertuzzi, Michael Rasmussen, Filip Zadina, to name a few — there’s no way Yzerman would have kept Blashill behind the bench.

Missing the playoffs five straight seasons would cost many a coach his job, but nothing in Yzerman’s history indicates he’ll make a change just to make a change. It comes down to whether Yzerman thinks Blashill is the right guy to continue coaching the rebuild. The Wings don’t project to be a playoff team next season — not even with Moritz Seider on defense and Joe Veleno joining the youth movement up front. They should be better than this season’s team, though, the way this season’s team was better than last season’s.

Yzerman isn’t yet at a point where he’s looking to hire the guy he thinks can coach the Wings towards Stanley Cup-contender status. His old linemate and longtime buddy, Gerard Gallant, has been available for more than a year, and Yzerman hasn’t bit. Is there an in-between coach Yzerman has in mind? We should know shortly.

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