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#2609287 Coaching Search Thread a.k.a. the Jeff Blashill Thread

Posted by darkmanx on 21 May 2015 - 07:13 AM


DETROIT – The list of candidates to replace Mike Babcock as the next coach of the Detroit Red Wings is a short one, according to general manager Ken Holland.

Holland said he plans to speak with only two or three candidates before deciding who will get the job and Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill is considered to be the leading candidate.


Blashill is no stranger to most of the players on the Red Wings roster. The veterans were around when Blashill was a Red Wings assistant coach in 2011-12 and the younger players know Blashill from his three seasons as coach of the Griffins, Detroit's top farm club.


"He's a great coach," said Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar, who spent one season with Blashill in Grand Rapids. "He's a good talker. He can motivate the players. I feel like the system and how he's willing to play with the players is really good.


"Players feel like they can talk to him. He's somebody who they can trust and feel good. He's really good with the players. I feel like the players can trust him. He's a really good coach."


Blashill led the Griffins to the AHL championshipin 2013, his first season in Grand Rapids. Tatar was the playoff MVP with 16 goals in 24 games and hasn't been back to the minors since. He led the Red Wings with 29 goals this season.


Tomas Jurco was also on the Griffins' Calder Cup team, scoring 14 goals during 74 regular-season games and then adding eight more in the playoffs. He split the following season between Grand Rapids and Detroit before spending all of last season with the Red Wings.

"I love Blash," Jurco said. "He just understands the game really well. He's a really good guy and you can talk to him and he understands you a person. Great guy, great coach, and I only have great memories of him."


Blashill communicates well with players, according to Jurco.


"Yeah, he's a really good talker and that's one of the best things about him," Jurco said. "Every time he showed me something it was like 'You are right. I can do it differently.' He just understands it so well. He knows what the players can do a little differently.

"He's a great coach."


Nobody on the Red Wings' playoff roster spent more time playing under Blashill in Grand Rapids than forward Landon Ferraro, who played 212 regular-season games with the Griffins the past three seasons.


Ferraro was one of Grand Rapids' top players this season with 27 goals before joining the Red Wings at the end of the regular season and then appearing in all seven playoff games vs. Tampa Bay.


He sees similarities between Blashill and Babcock.


"Just the attention to detail I think is the biggest part," Ferraro said. "They both are really good hockey minds and they care and they want to make sure they give their teams everything to succeed on the ice.


"With Blash, for him it's all about work and if you do your part, it's going to come together and you just got to make sure that happens and when we finally bought into that was his first year, it really turned our year around and it obviously ended up in a championship."

Ferraro, the Red Wings' second-round choice (32nd overall) in the 2009 NHL draft, struggled as a rookie with the Griffins in 2011-12 before blossoming under Blashill the following season.


He scored 24 goals during the Griffins' championship season but it was Ferraro's speed and defensive ability as much as anything that helped him land a spot on Detroit's playoff roster.


Ferraro credited Blashill with helping him develop into a regular for the Red Wings during the playoffs.


"He's taken me from a guy that had the tools to get here and get a chance to someone that's actually got here," Ferraro said. "(Blashill) made it clear that I wasn't going to make it right away as a scorer and I got to make sure I'm good defensively and I made a ton of strides with him working with me the last three years.

"I owe a lot to him and it's been good. He's a guy I would pretty much do anything for. I trust him and he's got the respect of the all the guys in Grand Rapids."

In Grand Rapids, Ferraro said Blashill knew the difference between handling younger players as opposed to veterans.


"Some of the younger guys, he's harder on them," Ferraro said. "You kind of want to break that junior mold. You can be a really good goal scorer in junior but you get into the American League and guys are good.


"He did it with Jurco. It took him until Christmas and then he turned it around and was a huge part of our team."


Blashill, 41, is a former goaltender who played four seasons at Ferris State before spending the next three as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs.

He spent six more seasons as an assistant at Miami (Ohio) University, led the USHL's Indiana Ice to a championship in the first of two seasons there and coached at Western Michigan for one year before being hired by Babcock.


In three seasons with the Griffins, Blashill has a record of 134-71-23 (.638).

This season, the Griffins won the Midwest Division championship with a 46-22-8 record and their 100 points were tied for the third-most in the 30-team AHL. They're in the Western Conference Finals.


Blashill is a Michigan native who was born in Sault Ste. Marie.





Good read.

#2609286 It's Official: Babcock to coach Maple Leafs

Posted by darkmanx on 21 May 2015 - 06:45 AM

Great interview @ TSN.


I'm also happy for all the other coaches finally the best coach in all of hockey has set the salary benchmark higher. Will be interesting to see what Blashill or Bylsma can do with this group one thing is for sure: reading between the lines of Holland's interview it looks like ownership is getting a bit antsy as they should so I'm sure the next one on the clock now is Holland (yes it's hard to bring in the top guys but that's why he is getting paid the huge $$$), defensive help and toughness is needed..doesn't matter how is he doing it it needs to happen. The much bigger task will be finding a top 6 center because sadly Z's days as a top 6 center might be over thanks to his back :(




Niskanen, Myers and Ehrhoff just to name a few.


Anyway Babs has been begging for help and didn't get it now he is gone and will for sure make the Leafs better or at least a hard working grind it out team, which also means the Leafs won't trade Devane :(


I don't understand why these names keep getting brought up, they obviously didn't want to come here as Holland had offered them contracts. Myers would have cost Tatar++ or Nyquist++ are you sure you would do that deal?

#2609257 ECF : Tampa Bay Former Rangers vs. New York New Rangers

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 10:19 PM

Just goes to show how impressive detroit was at shutting Tampa down with how much Tampa has been scoring since. Hope that trend continues with Blash!


Mrazek was incredible as well.


Next years goalie situation should be interesting.

#2609222 It's Official: Babcock to coach Maple Leafs

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 08:00 PM


I know he had a tough season, but I still love Jurco's upside. I hope the Wings don't give up on him already and the new coach utilizes his ability more appropriately next season. 


He's only 22 as well. Lot's of time to get it going.


Tatar and Nyquist are 25.

#2609167 It's Official: Babcock to coach Maple Leafs

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 05:10 PM


Down Goes Brown ‏@DownGoesBrown · 2m2 minutes ago

After years at the Department of Player Safety, it's nice to see Shanahan finally hand out a number that everyone thinks is too high.



#2609064 It's Official: Babcock to coach Maple Leafs

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 02:14 PM



That's what I have been thinking since the news broke!




No hard feelings towards Babs or Toronto for that matter. I honestly think things just got too stale with him here and both the organization and him needed a change. Mr. I didn't low ball him at all and he left for more money. Best of luck to him but I really think this was a move that had to happen.


I don't think Babcock was the reason why players didn't want to come here, but what do I know. I am just happy this is over.


I am just happy we will have a coach who wants to be here.

#2609051 It's Official: Babcock to coach Maple Leafs

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 02:02 PM

So does flipping Babcock for a 3rd from Toronto count as Hollands best trade the last coupe years?


It will be when we draft a better player in that round then what the Leafs take in the 1st this year.

#2609049 It's Official: Babcock to coach Maple Leafs

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 02:01 PM

An unproven coach at the NHL level so it could go either way. But hey he will for sure make less than the GM and if things aren't working out Holland can sell it as another transition year instead of going for a real rebuild. I feel a bit bad for Orr and McLaren Babs won't play them on the fourth line


Unproven maybe, yet carries the same philosophies as Babs but probably way better in seeing when things don't work.


It won't be as dramatic as your making it out to be. Holland did the right thing whether you agree or not.

#2608867 Babcock granted permission to talk to other teams

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 12:50 PM

Who wouldn't want to live in Toronto over Detroit, and for that kind of money no less?


Toronto is where you go to die in sports.


Jays - 22 years since last WS, 22 years since last playoffs


Leafs - 48 Years since Stanley Cup


Raptors - Never won a damn thing.

#2608839 Babcock granted permission to talk to other teams

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 12:38 PM

So if Babs goes to Toronto, does Cleary sign another 1 year deal with them? Maybe that's why he's leaving, Holland doesn't want another year of Cleary and Babs refuses to accept that.

#2608830 Babcock granted permission to talk to other teams

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 12:32 PM

Leafs Plane



#2608822 Babcock granted permission to talk to other teams

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 12:27 PM

If he wins in Toronto he'll be a god, if not he'll at least be paid like one. Plus I'm sure he'll have more power in the organization, then he's got in Detroit.


I get that, however they couldn't win spending like Detroit why will things change now? Players already don't want to go to Toronto, and they weren't lining up to play in Detroit because Babcock was here either.

#2608815 Babcock granted permission to talk to other teams

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 12:23 PM


It's official guys without it being official he's going to toronto for a ton of money and will help them pick a gm and help in trading players etc...

It's happening

Not worried about the leafs


Money and a bad 4-5 years? Toronto isn't going anywhere anytime soon, they are in worse shape then Buffalo.

#2608809 Babcock granted permission to talk to other teams

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 12:19 PM

Well his decision is understandable, insulting offers, an aging team and he doesn't want to be the coach known for ending the streak and given Holland's reluctance to trade prospects and penny pinch ufas Babs job got harder and harder every year. The amount of talent this team is losing not only on but also off ice is simply stunning. Guess it's nice that Holland got his extension for doing nothing since the last scf


What exactly does Toronto have again? Please enlighten us.

#2608727 Babcock granted permission to talk to other teams

Posted by darkmanx on 20 May 2015 - 10:16 AM

The biggest plus about Babs leaving is maybe finally Ericsson can GTFO the top pairing.