Red Wings coach departure leaves a gap to fill

Edward Flood, Staff Writer

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On May 22, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock left the team on an 8-year, $50 million deal, which will make Babcock the highest paid coach in the National Hockey League. This departure leaves a gap in an organization which has made it to the playoffs the past 24 years straight and won the Stanley Cup four times in that run.

In the past four years, the Red Wings have not made the playoffs past the first round 3 times. Babcock is going to the Toronto Maple Leafs who have been to the playoffs once in the past 10 years.

Sheldon Lau, ‘17 still admires Babcock, “I really liked him as the Wings coach and he will do well in Toronto.”

Lau is not alone. Ken Holland, the Red Wings General Manager, said a similar thing to Babcock when he was leaving Joe Louis Arena until the Red Wings play the Toronto Maple Leafs later in the fall.

The Wings are watching a new coach already. His name is Jeff Blashill. Blashill is the Grand Rapids Griffins coach, the Red Wings affiliate team, and he is leading that team to the Calder Cup.

Conner Victory, ‘16 stated, “I like Blashill because he is very good at developing young players, and he seems to be able to take teams to championships, which is what the Wings need.”

Either way the Red Wings will start the season with a coach, most likely Blashill, but the owners are not committing to anything yet.

Bella Fresch, ‘17 stated,” I just want to go to the games already to start up the season. I wish they were still in the playoffs.”

 

This summer, the Wings are looking to sign better players and they are hoping this new coach can draw a pool of young talent into Detroit.

Marshall Moise, ‘15 said,” The Griffins have a lot of young kids who are very talented that could be a big help to the Red Wings especially for goal scoring. They also have some good defenseman and goalies that we should see in the Wings sweater in the future.”

The Red Wings biggest prospects are Teemu Pulkkinen, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Dylan Larkin. Larkin played for the University of Michigan last year and left after the season to join the Griffins playoff push. His first game he had 2 goals, and was drafted 15th overall in the NHL draft in 2014.

Blashill seems to bring a new culture to the Detroit Red Wings, and we will see if this prospect will become the next Red Wings head coach. Blashill said to NHL.com that he doesn’t want to commit to anything right now because his team, Grand Rapids Griffins are pushing for the AHL finals.

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Red Wings coach departure leaves a gap to fill