I've been pondering this for a few days now and I became curious, who do you guys want as our head coach, Mike Babcock or Jeff Blashill?
Babcock and Holland released a few statements per Helen St. James the other day. Babcock said he would want to get an extension done before September or not until the spring. Holland was quoted saying that he told Babcock that Detroit would like to keep him. Below are some pros and cons about each coach.
Babcock is a phenomenal coach, the best in the league and perhaps in the world. He single handedly drove us to the playoffs with an injury decimated roster last season and was up for the Jack Adams trophy. He also claimed the title of most-winningest coach in Red Wings history last season. Passing none other than Jack Adams. He has 1 Stanley Cup and 2 Olympic gold medals. His downfall is that he is notorious for being hard on players and is in no way shape or form a "player's coach." That could be a factor into free agents not wanting to sign with Detroit during the off season. Another flaw with Babcock is that he prefers players that are established and experienced (and usually injury-prone and/or old) when the Red Wings have NHL-prospects chomping at the bit the earn a spot on Detroit's roster that they've worked hard towards.
The other candidate for the job is Jeff Blashill. He is currently the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's minor league affilate team. Coaching style wise he is almost exactly identical to Mike Babcock, he even sounds like him when he speaks. Blashill is also highly regarded as a talented coach who is more than capable of being able to take on a NHL head coaching job. The biggest and most obvious difference between Blashill and Babcock is that Blashill is a player's coach whereas Babcock is not, as stated above. Blashill is great with connecting with players and helping them grow into NHL-caliber players who are on the path to successful NHL careers. He led Grand Rapids to the Calder Cup Championship in 2013 where the Griffins captured their first Calder Cup in franchise history. Blashill's connection with players is key to his coaching and it could greatly benefit the franchise if he were to move behind Detroit's bench and brought the prospects along with him. One of his cons is that he lacks NHL experience. Even though both leagues are pro status, the jump between the AHL and NHL is significantly big and takes some time to adjust properly. That could be a potential problem with Blashill's inexperience.
Personally, I like the idea of letting Babcock walk and promoting Blashill. He is chomping at the bit to become an NHL coach and I don't think he would have any trouble making the transition between leagues. I also believe that the Wings won't lose anything coaching ability wise because Blashill is almost an exact mirror image of Babcock coaching wise. Another reason why I chose this route is that Blashill is a player's coach. Babcock lacks that and I think that is part of the reason why Detroit can't attract free agents anymore. Also, I think that if Blashill moves from Grand Rapids to Detroit, he will bring the kids with him. That, in my eyes, is the key to getting Detroit back up to its Stanley Cup contender status that the fans and rest of the league expects to see. Also having Blashill behind the Wings' bench would help make the team younger and it'll be help leaps and bounds to set the Red Wings moving forward in the right direction for the future.
Below is a poll for you guys to vote on the topic. I'd also love to hear your thoughts on it in the comment section!