As expected from pretty much every hockey fan in America, Jeff Blashill was named the new head coach of the Detroit Red Wings.
Blashill coached the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroitâ€™s American Hockey League affiliate, for three seasons. He won the 2013 Calder Cup with the Griffins in his first season as head coach. Blashill replaces Mike Babcock, who agreed to become the Maple Leafs head coach last month. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland introduced his new coach at a press conference inside Joe Louis Arena today (June 9).
“I told Ken a year ago with Mikeâ€™s uncertainty, if Mike were to leave Detroit, that the Red Wing job was the job that I wanted most of any in the NHL,” Blashill said at the presser. “Iâ€™m good friends with Mike. I knew there was uncertainty around his particular position. I told Ken in our talks that if there was one team I wanted to coach in the NHL, I wanted to coach the Red Wings.”
“Itâ€™s a perfect time for [Blashill] to take over our team,” Holland said. “Weâ€™ve had a fabulous run with Mike Babcock over the last 10 years. I hope this decision today is a decision that is going to last for a long time.”
Blashill was offered a 4-year deal from the Red Wings but financial terms were not disclosed. The 41-year-old is already familiar with most of the players during his time as an assistant coach under Babcock and in Grand Rapids.
While Blashill may have similar traits as his predecessor, Red Wings fans shouldnâ€™t expect the same show.
“I donâ€™t like to ever talk about whatâ€™s been done in the past,” Blashill said. “I have my own approach and with my own approach Iâ€™m sure will come changeâ€¦Iâ€™ll be Jeff Blashill and I think in that will be change.”
JEFF BLASHILLâ€™S INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE
Hear Blashillâ€™s entire press conference:
JEFF BLASHILL: OFF THE PODIUM
Jeff Blashill opened up a little more when he got off the podium. One of the highlights is an impression he did of Mike Babcock going back to when Babcock call him for the first time in 2010.