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Red Wings promote Jeff Salajko as goaltending coach for Red Wings

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Grand Rapids Griffins

DETROIT, MICH -- After the departure of long-time goaltender coach Jim Bedard, the Red Wings have announced that Jeff Salajko, goaltender coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins has been promoted to the NHL club:

This isn't a huge surprise, as there have been hints to Salajko's promotion ever since the news hit about Bedard and the Red Wings parting ways. The upside here is that Salajko had spent time developing Petr Mrazek, and Jared Coreau, the two goaltenders of the future in Detroit. Salajko was a huge part in the development of Jared Coreau. If you remember, when he made the jump to pro hockey he had a lot of issues and struggled in his first year. Ever since then, he has been a mainstay for the Griffins alongside Tom McCollum.

More from the Red Wings press release on the hiring of Salajko:

Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the team has hired Jeff Salajko as goaltending coach.

Salajko, 41, has served as goaltending development coach for the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins since the 2013-14 campaign. Under his watch, the Griffins had one of the AHL’s top goaltending tandems in 2015-16, with two goaltenders finishing top-10 in both goals-against average (Tom McCollum, 9th; Jared Coreau, 10th) and save percentage (McCollum, 3rd; Coreau, T4th). Prior to his time in Grand Rapids, Salajko spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio State University (2008-11), focusing on goaltender development, one season as an assistant coach for the Ohio Blue Jackets’ junior teams (2011-12) and one season as goaltending coach for Ohio State’s women’s ice hockey club (2013-14).

The Kitchener, Ontario, native was originally a 10th-round pick (236th overall) of the San Jose Sharks in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft and enjoyed an eight-season professional playing career, seeing action with 11 different teams in four leagues. Salajko suited up for the AHL’s Portland Pirates and Manitoba Moose (who he also represented in the IHL), the IHL’s Indianapolis Ice and Kansas City Blades, the ECHL’s Columbus Chill, Arkansas RiverBlades, Reading Royals, Peoria Rivermen and Charlotte Checkers, and he had brief stints with the CHL’s Wichita Thunder and ACHL’s Jacksonville Barracudas before retiring prior to the 2003-04 season. He compiled a 148-125-31 record and 12 shutouts over his 323-game pro career.