Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Still Waiting

05/16/2021 at 6:53am EDT

from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,

Steve Yzerman said he’d be quick about meeting with his coach, Jeff Blashill, after the Detroit Red Wings’ season ended. He did not say he’d be quick about deciding Blashill’s fate.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Yzerman can’t be rushed....

the Wings were the worst team in the league last season. This year, they're tied for the fifth-worst record (with the potential to fall if Vancouver wins any of its' pandemic-stalled games this week). And if you are judging by record — or points — it's hard to justify extending Blashill, especially in a league that fires more of its coaches than any other; Blashill is the third longest-tenured coach in the NHL.

And yet?

Wins and losses aren’t the only way to measure a coach.

No, what Yzerman is trying to determine — and likely already has in some fashion — is whether Blashill is the right coach for the current roster, and for the roster Yzerman envisions the next couple of seasons....

Convincing an up-and-comer to start from (almost) scratch in Detroit won’t be easy. Though Yzerman may have the cache to pull it off.

Again, the question is whether he thinks he must. Blashill was once a promising coaching prospect, too, with a Calder Cup win in the AHL in Grand Rapids. When he had decent talent, it was easy to see his worth.

I’d argue he’s shown his value this past season as well. In a difficult year, when he lost a half-dozen players to COVID protocol nearly out of the gate, Blashill’s team got better, particularly the last six weeks of the season, particularly on defense.

Is that enough?

Possibly.

more ($$$)

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.

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