The Detroit Red Wings New Year’s Resolutions

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 04: From L to R Assistant coach Pat Ferschweiler, Assistant coach Dan Bylsma and Head coach Jeff Blashill of the Detroit Red Wings watches the action from the bench during an NHL game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Little Caesars Arena on December 4, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lightning defeated the Red Wings 6-5 in a shootout. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 04: From L to R Assistant coach Pat Ferschweiler, Assistant coach Dan Bylsma and Head coach Jeff Blashill of the Detroit Red Wings watches the action from the bench during an NHL game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Little Caesars Arena on December 4, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lightning defeated the Red Wings 6-5 in a shootout. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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It is time to say goodbye to our head coach Jeff Blashill.  In his defense, not many head coaches that are in place to start a rebuild survive until the team has successfully finished a rebuild.  Jeff Blashill has had some good moments, but the lack of effort and player development outweighs the good he’s provided.

When Jeff Blashill took over as the bench boss of the Detroit Red Wings, he rode into the position on the coattails of one, Mike Babcock.  The two are friends, and to be honest, they worked well together.  Jeff Blashill coached a Babcock style in Grand Rapids with the Griffins.

That proved to be important because the Detroit Red Wings could call up a player when they needed and there was no learning curve.  Just play the way you have been in Grand Rapids, the only difference is you are playing in Motown.  Being able to plug and play a player into a lineup provides a nice security blanket for a head coach.

When Jeff Blashill took over behind the Detroit Red Wings bench he inherited the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.  Datsyuk played one season with Blash, to “help with the transition.”  The fact is Pav was happy to see Babcock go and wanted to see what it would be like playing for Blashill.  He found out they coached the same way, they spoke the same way and their philosophies are the same.  Pavel decided to follow his heart and head home to play professional hockey.  I am always left wondering if a coach with a different style, a different fresh voice took over would Pav had stayed?

When discussing Jeff Blashill there is no in-between, fans either like em or hate him.  I wanted to give Blash the benefit of the doubt until last season.  I was tired of watching him claw for the playoffs with his aging veterans rather than playing the young kids.

I feel the young players need to get a fair look and they didn’t get that up until the beginning of this season.  The fact is Blashill was deemed a “player development” coach.  I can argue in more cases than one where a young player had regressed at the NHL level.

Take Andreas Athanasiou, Martin Frk, Dylan Larkin (until last year), Evgeny Svechnikov, Anthony Mantha.  All these forwards, in particular, have either been benched, played 8 minutes a night, banished to the fourth line.  You need to earn your way as a young player, but you also need an opportunity to earn your way.  Playing Luke Glendening, David Booth, Jacob de La Rose, Justin Abdelkader over the likes of the youngsters previously mentioned is head scratching.  That is exactly what Jeff loved to do.

I think Dennis Cholowski is a talented defender.  He is currently in Blash’s doghouse.  He needs to be coached up, and I am not confident Jeff Blashill is the right man for the job.  I don’t think a young Zadina or Veleno are going to get a full opportunity to develop under Blashill.  They cannot develop on the fourth line next season they need to both play 15 a night as top-9 forwards.

It is time to part ways with Jeff Blashill.  Our number one 2019 resolution is to fire head coach Jeff Blashill.  Dan Bylsma is on the bench as an assistant coach, allow him to finish the season as the interim head coach. I use the word interim on purpose.  If our second resolution happens at seasons’ end the new GM should have an opportunity to hire “his” guy.