Jun 4, 2014, 2:23 PM EDT
One of the hottest NHL head coaching candidates is staying put — for now.
Jeff Blashill, the head coach of Detroit’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, has signed a three-year extension to remain with the organization, the Wings announced on Wednesday. Blashill, 40, has been with Detroit since the 2011-12 season, first spending a year behind the Red Wings bench as Mike Babcock’s assistant before taking the head coaching gig with the Griffins.
In Grand Rapids, Blashill has enjoyed tremendous success. The team won the Calder Cup last season and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals this season before losing to the Texas Stars. The loss represented the first playoff series loss the Griffins suffered during Blashill’s tenure as head coach.
This past season, a number of his players successfully made the jump to the NHL: Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, Joakim Andersson, Luke Glendening and Brendan Smith, to name a few.
The three-year extension is interesting on a number of fronts. One, it essentially takes Blashill out of the running for vacant positions in Vancouver, Florida and Carolina — earlier this month, Detroit GM Ken Holland called Blashill “an NHL coach in the making” — and two, it could be seen as a succession plan should (or, whenever) Mike Babcock decides to step down as Detroit’s head coach.
- ‘C’-less Thornton comes out swing against Wilson’s ‘tomorrow team’ talk 2
- Joe Sakic’s now general manager in name too 3
- Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury 24
- Update: Crosby on ice with Penguins teammates Friday, leaves early 5
- Ouch: Wild reportedly suspend Harding for ‘non-hockey injury’ 28
- Keeping Kuemper: Wild sign goalie to two-year deal reportedly worth $2.5M 15
- Selanne regrets harsh words toward Boudreau 9
- Flyers’ Timonen admits chances of playing are ‘really slim’ 8
- Desjardins (a.k.a. not Torts) makes good first impression on Canucks 28
- Leafs deny rift between Kessel and coaching staff 20
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (62)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (55)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)