Mike Babcock is a better NHL coach today than Jeff Blashill.
But today, Jeff Blashill might be a better coach for the Detroit Red Wings.
The following players listed in Bold are players Jeff Blashill developed in Grand Rapids or at Western Michigan before they played in the NHL.
TATAR - DATSYUK - HELM
NYQUIST - ZETTERBERG - ABDELKADER
JURCO - SHEAHAN - PULKINNEN
MILLER- GLENDENNING - FERRARO
KRONWALL - ERICSSON
DEKEYSER - QUINCEY
SMITH - MARCHENKO
Here's the important part: Every single name on that list (besides Pulkinnen) came to the NHL and made an impact immediately.
This isn't a fluke, or a system that condones itself to certain players - this is the result of a head coach who had the ability to make players better, and develop them into NHL caliber players. If you have the time, take a look at what Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco, and Riley Sheahan did last year immediately following their promotions from the Grand Rapids Griffins. All of them averaged a significantly higher point per game average then, as opposed to this year playing only for Mike Babcock.
I don't know if its utilization or motivation, but these players seemed to be at there best when they most recently played for Blashill - and when that wore off, Babcock didn't get the same results.
- amato likes this