Jeff Blashill is returning as head coach for the Red Wings next season, general manager Steve Yzerman announced Wednesday afternoon.
Yzerman said his feelings haven't changed on Blashill. "I have no plans on making a coaching change at this time."— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) May 27, 2020
The announcement came on a zoom call with the media — a new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Blashill, entering now his sixth year as Detroit’s bench boss, has made the playoffs only once during his tenure with the Red Wings. The club had a one-year option on his contract.
Yzerman continued to drive home that they need to build a better team, and not pin all of the blame on coaching.
Yzerman reiterates that it's unfair to judge Blashill. "We need to improve the team."— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) May 27, 2020
This past year, we’ve seen a long list of coaches get canned — Including names like Bruce Boudreau, Mike Babcock, and Gerard Gallant. There was a growing chorus from many Red Wings fans to consider some of the coaches that had been terminated in the 2019-2020 season.
Yzerman’s words are about as carefully phrased as it gets. “At this time” hints that he’s ready to make a change when the right opportunity comes, but also that he believes Blashill is a better coach than maybe most think. I think it’s fair to speculate that if the team takes another nasty nosedive, Yzerman is comfortable making swift changes.
During the interview, Yzerman also announced that a team captain will be named before next season.