Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill to receive contract extension

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 04: Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill questions a call during the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings on December 4, 2018, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Tampa Bay defeated Detroit 6-5 in a shootout. (Photo by Scott Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 04: Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill questions a call during the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings on December 4, 2018, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Tampa Bay defeated Detroit 6-5 in a shootout. (Photo by Scott Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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As the trade deadline expired at 3 pm, Ken Holland’s roster moves left some Detroit Red Wings fans optimistic and others exasperated.  But the news he broke at his press conference left many fans to question his judgment.

During Ken Holland‘s media session he spoke about the recent trades and let us in a little bit behind the scenes.  He talked about how Gustav Nyquist‘s no-trade clause didn’t impede the Detroit Red Wings from getting the deal they wanted.  Holland mentioned Gus only had one team that he wouldn’t waive his NTC to join.  Although he wouldn’t expand on the comment, it let us all speculate that it was indeed the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Not that Gustav Nyquist would make or break the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he would have added scoring depth to an already stacked lineup.  The Leafs already spent their 2019 first-round draft pick to add Jake Muzzin, and although the Wings couldn’t land a first rounder for him, it would have been shocking to see the Leafs move a second rounder having no first. Again it was just speculation, but Babcock has the reputation of wearing on all players over time.

Although I don’t have a real problem with the return for Nyquist some folks do, Holland wanted a first round pick in return for Gus, and if he would have held onto him a bit longer, he may have been able to get it.

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That being said, the return could have been as underwhelming as the Flyers got for Wayne Simmonds.  They received a conditional 4th round pick along with 24-year-old forward Ryan Hartman who has 10 goals, 20 points in 61 games. What I am saying here Wings fans, it could always be worse.

A lot of us thought Nyquist having a no-trade clause hindered the trade market, and many fans could understand that.  Ken Holland did his best Al Avila impression by talking too much.  As previously mentioned it didn’t hinder any deals which just adds fuel to the fire for the Holland haters.

Just when you thought it wouldn’t get any worse Kenny drops a bomb on us.  Not only is the organization going to try and resign Jimmy Howard.  Not only does Holland say if Kronwall wants to play next year he will play.  Since when did Niklas Kronwall become the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings?

But then Holland mentioned the franchise is expecting to give head coach Jeff Blashill a contract extension!  WHAT?  In an article written by the incredibly talented Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Holland praises Jeff Blashill;

"“I think he’s done a great job,” Holland said. “You look at the standings and it’s hard to think anybody has done a great job when you see where we are in the standings. But he’s playing our young players. Lots of the young players have improved under his watch. When I see our team go out on the power play late in a game, there’s lots of young players. The young players have grown under his watch.“I’m big on experience. This is his fourth year in the NHL and there’s no doubt he’s a better coach today than he was four years ago just by the experience of getting to know the NHL and the types of players it takes to play in this league. I think he’s done a real good job.”"

I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and I try to do so regularly.  I do think Jeff Blashill has done a better job this season than he did last year.  He’s played, Andreas Athanasiou more and he’s progressed into a better player this year.

He’s played Cholowski and Hronek often, something he wouldn’t have done four years ago.  Dylan Larkin is thriving, and the only head coach in the NHL he’s seen is Jeff Blashill.  Tyler Bertuzzi is rounding into an excellent young player.  So there have been bright spots for the Detroit Red Wings bench boss.

For a guy who has a long history of favoring veteran players, he’s done an ok job with the youth movement the Detroit Red Wings have endured this season.  I would like to see Michael Rasmussen play with more skilled players on a regular basis.  Like Ken Holland mentioned he loves “experience,” that’s probably the most obvious statement ever expressed.

I would not at all be comfortable with extending Jeff Blashill before the season ends, not one bit.  Why does that have to be addressed now?  Let the season play out and see who becomes available.  There are a bunch of better coaches that will be accessible in my opinion.  The first name that comes to mind is Joel Quenneville.

The talk about extending Jeff Blashill means something else unsettling to me.  If you read between the lines here, why would the ownership allow Ken Holland to extend the head coach if they didn’t plan on him returning as GM next season?  If the organization had the notion to make a management change, it would be wise to allow the new GM to pick their own head coach.

Next. Getting to know Madison Bowey. dark

I don’t know if I want to vomit or cry.  The signal being sent today is that Holland will indeed return for next season, and he’s bringing his buddy Blashill back too.  Our hopes of having Steve Yzerman fix this mess disintegrates, for now.