from Steven Psihogios of Yahoo,
When asked about his decision to extend Blashill, Yzerman, as he usually does, provided a response that most hockey executives should pay attention to.
“I feel our team is collectively very competitive,” Yzerman said. “Whether we play well or not every night is different, but we play hard. Our players play hard and I think that’s a reflection of the coaching staff, that they have the respect of the players.”
Yzerman also added the following when discussing Blashill’s coaching philosophies.
“Jeff has really worked with me with transitioning our young players into the lineup, being patient with them,” Yzerman noted. “Not handing them positions or ice time, really forcing them to earn it and guiding them along.”
Unlike most front offices, which demand that coaches must get the most out of young, inexperienced players immediately, Yzerma has afforded Blashill time to prioritize development over instant success. Detroit’s front office has also focused on ensuring that the man behind the bench is the right fit, rather than judging him based on his win-loss record.
Again, unlike most front offices which dump the coach that was there before at the first chance for their preferred candidate, the Red Wings have stuck by Blashill and given him a fair opportunity to prove himself.
Yzerman focuses on the right details, and you’d be foolish to think that all of this continuity hasn’t impacted the team’s early-season success.
Despite many, including myself, believing that the Red Wings were still years away from being competitive, the squad has proven otherwise in the early part of the 2021-22 season. Detroit currently holds one of the two Eastern Conference Wild Card spots, which is impressive when you consider how loaded both the Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions are.