If you are a Detroit Red Wings fan, you should be very proud of Ken Holland for doing what he just did.
"Money will not be an issue" - yet we were always the lowest bidder in an attempt to resign Mike Babcock (while knowing him better than anyone). To me, I don't see this is as blind arrogance, but as a brilliant play by Holland to say and do what he had to - knowing the process would end with Jeff Blashill coaching this team for the next decade. I honestly am more excited with this information than I would have been had we re-signed Babcock, and lost Blashill.
Babcock is a good coach, and should be praised for his Stanley Cup here - but his resume only shines with accomplishments that were legitimate expectations as well. He inherited Nick Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in their prime - yet only took us past the 2nd round of the playoffs in 3 out of 10 years he was in Detroit... (2007,2008,2009). In 2007 we had the most regular season points in the league, and one of the best teams on paper - and we certainly had the best team on paper in both 08/09.
Blashill has coached professionally for less than 6 seasons - and if he wins the Calder Cup this year (which isn't a stretch) he will have 3 championships to show for it. He has also developed more than half of the current Detroit Red Wings roster (who won the Calder Cup 2 years ago), and has since developed players like Pulkinnen, Anthanasiou, and Marchenko the same way he developed the likes of Nyquist, Tatar, and Sheahan. This guy just continues to do it, and seems like he gets more out of these players than Babcock has - albeit at the AHL level.
I don't think we lost the Mike Babcock sweepstakes, but won the Jeff Blashill award.
And on the other hand, you basically just illustrated all my concerns about going with Blashill at this point. He got a lot out of guys at the AHL level, and has had his own success then at the AHL level. But the AHL is not the NHL. Very far from it. A lot of the guys that are in the NHL now have been struggling in the NHL, and it's not because Babcock is magically just not getting something out of them. Some of them are struggling because it's the NHL and it's a tough transition. Some, like Nyquist in particular, are just too damn physically weak right now to play up to their potential consistently.
I'm not saying Blashill isn't a good coach, so don't get me wrong. But to assume he's going to translate his AHL success into the NHL so simply sounds nothing short of ludicrous to me at this point. In time, perhaps. Again, I'm not saying he's a bad coach. But as I said before, any coach, Babcock, Blashill, or otherwise, is going to have a rough time with the Red Wings down the stretch if the defense doesn't get a serious upgrade.
- Internet.Unknown likes this