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Red Wings hire Alex Tanguay as assistant coach

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The ex-Avalanche will replace Dan Bylsma behind the Wings’ bench

Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

The Red Wings’ official announcement of the Alex Tanguay hiring is below with some very good background on the hire. The best news out of this is the relative offensive and power play numbers Tanguay’s prior team were able to put up, considering the new guy is here to replace outgoing Dan Bylsma as Jeff Blashill’s assistant. Bylsma was famously in charge of a Red Wings power play that has been laughably bad for years.

It’s not entirely clear whether Bylsma’s “mutual separation” from the team was a result of the ass-bad numbers his special teams put up or a loss of patience with the opportunity to become the team’s interim coach, but either way I’m glad he’s gone.

How glad? I’ll even accept a former Avs player behind our bench if it helps us.

DETROIT — Detroit Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today that the team has hired Alex Tanguay as an assistant coach.

Tanguay, 41, has spent the last two years as an assistant coach with the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild. Over those two seasons, the Wild combined for a 54-31-8-4 record, with a second place finish in the Central Division and Western Conference during the 2019-20 campaign. Iowa had the AHL’s fifth-best power play in Tanguay’s first season behind the bench at 21.9 percent, and its offense was among the league’s most productive, improving from 3.08 goals per game in 2019-20 to 3.15 goals per game over a 34-game schedule in 2020-21. The Wild also had the second-best shot-per-game average in the AHL in each of the past two seasons, averaging 32.68 combined in Tanguay’s tenure with the club.

Prior to his time with Iowa, Tanguay enjoyed a 16-year NHL career with the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes, logging 863 points (283-580-863), a plus-163 rating and 527 penalty minutes in 1,088 games. He played over half of his career (598 games) during two stints with the Avalanche (1999-06; 13-16), where he was a Calder Trophy nominee in 1999-00. Tanguay also ranks sixth in points (488) since the franchise moved to Colorado. He added 59 points (19-40-59) and 42 penalty minutes in 98 playoff games and scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Avalanche in 2001. The 2004 NHL All-Star topped the 50-point plateau in eight of his NHL seasons, including a four-season run of 67 points or better from 2002-07 and a career best of 81 points in 81 games with Calgary in 2006-07.

A native of Sainte-Justine, Quebec, Tanguay was originally drafted by Colorado in the first round (12th overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and racked up 1.41 points-per-game over a three-season major junior career with the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, totaling 214 points (101-113-214) in 152 games and earning spots on the 1997 CHL All-Rookie Team and QMJHL All-Rookie Team. After retiring as a player following the 2015-16 season, Tanguay worked as an in-studio analyst for NHL Network before beginning his coaching career with Iowa.