Well, that was quick. The Red Wings have hired former NHL defenseman Doug Houda as an assistant coach, per Bill Roose:
The #RedWings have hired Doug Houda as an assistant coach, signing their former pick (1984) to a three-year deal: https://t.co/R2rd1xJHJA— The Wheel Deal (@Bill_Roose) May 10, 2016
Houda, who turns 50 years old on June 3, replaces outgoing assistant Tony Granato, who returned to the University of Wisconsin, his college alma mater, to take over as the Badgers’ head coach. Granato had been in charge of the Wings’ defensemen and the penalty kill.
Houda was an assistant with Boston for the past 10 seasons, joining the Bruins in 2006 when Peter Chiarelli was named general manager and Dave Lewis was brought in as head coach. A year later, when Lewis was let go, new head coach Claude Julien retained Houda.
The former Red Wings first-rounder (1984) has not had a distinct role assigned to him as of yet, but from what I gather, players love playing for him. He appeared in 561 NHL games throughout his six-year career which started in Detroit. Houda has had nothing but high praise from his former head coach, Claude Julien who said he's touted as a "player's coach."
Roose claims that Houda will take on Granato's role, which was focused on penalty killing, but he also states that it is "unclear" what his role will be. Sounds like the Red Wings will be evaluating their new coaching staff throughout the summer and placing them in the best suited roles for each individual.
Here is the full press release from the Red Wings organization:
Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the team has hired Doug Houda as an assistant coach. The former Red Wings defenseman has agreed to a three-year contract.
Houda, 49, spent the past 10 seasons as an assistant coach with the Boston Bruins, helping the team make the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons (2007-14) and win four division titles (2009, 2011 and 2012 Northeast, 2014 Atlantic), two regular-season Eastern Conference championships (2009 and 2014) and one President’s Trophy after accumulating 117 points (54-19-9) during the 2013-14 campaign. The Bruins also won the Prince of Wales Trophy as Eastern Conference champions in 2011 and 2013 and captured the organization’s sixth Stanley Cup championship in 2011.
During Houda’s 10 seasons with the club, the Bruins compiled a 428-264-94 record, seventh-best in the NHL over that span. Boston’s 57 playoff wins over the same duration are fourth-most in the league, trailing only Chicago (76), Detroit (66) and Pittsburgh (66). Houda also spent three seasons as an assistant coach in the American Hockey League with the Rochester Americans from 2003-06. The Amerks compiled a 125-86-16-13 record in the span and held the league’s best record in 2004-05 at 51-19-4-6 (112 points).
A native of Blairmore, Alberta, Houda was originally drafted by the Red Wings in the second round (28th overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. The former defenseman spent his junior career with the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Wranglers and Medicine Hat Tigers, accumulating 184 points (44-140-184) and 618 penalty minutes in 259 games played from 1981-86. Houda made his professional debut in 1984-85 after skating in seven postseason games with the International Hockey League’s Kalamazoo Wings and made his NHL debut the following season by appearing in six games for the Red Wings.
Houda spent parts of six NHL seasons in Detroit, totaling 31 points (5-26-31) and 251 penalty minutes in 172 games with the team from 1985-91 and in 1998-99 after being reacquired by the Red Wings from Anaheim. Houda played 561 NHL games with the Red Wings, Hartford Whalers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Anaheim Mighty Ducks between 1985-03, recording 82 points (19-63-82) and 1,104 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 18 NHL playoff games, including six with the Red Wings, picking up three points (0-3-3) and 21 penalty minutes.
Houda logged more than 1,000 professional games during his 17-season playing career, as he also skated in 553 American Hockey League and International Hockey League games with the Adirondack Red Wings, Rochester Americans and Utah Grizzlies, notching 238 points (55-183-238) and 1,191 penalty minutes. An AHL First-Team All-Star with Adirondack in 1987-88, Houda also captured a Calder Cup championship during his time in the AHL with Rochester in 1995-96. He spent his final four seasons in Rochester from 1999-03 before moving to an assistant coaching role in 2003-04.