Red Wings: Yzerman’s Patience on Blashill Decision Makes Sense

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Red Wings brass were supposed to sit down and “very quickly” decide on the fate of Jeff Blashill. Extend him, cut him loose, or find a new organizational role?

Nearly a week later, nary a peep from Steve Yzerman, or Jeff Blashill.

The decision is an important one as the Red Wings appear to have an offseason where they can make their first big pivot out of the rebuild. Though they won’t compete for a playoff berth quite yet, this decision still holds some significant weight. It also begs some questions.


  • Is Blashill the right guy for the job long term?
  • Does the same voice fall on deaf ears after awhile?
  • Can this team show improvement offensively next season with the same staff?
  • Does Blashill even want to come back?
  • Are we all just overanalyzing what could be a delay of the inevitable extension?

Yzerman Showing That He Will Take his Time

Think back to the trade deadline. Red Wings Twitter was freaking out that nothing had happened. Outside of the occasional Luke Glendening rumor, there wasn’t a single breath about Anthony Mantha being dealt.

And then just like that, he was off to Washington as the final horn sounded for Deadline Day. Yzerman’s patience and unwillingness to panic or rush underscores the talent he has as such. As a fanbase anxiously waits news of any kind (with a hard majority wanting to see change), Yzerman remains cool and silent.

Which as we’ve learned, is really good for the Red Wings organization.

What Could be the Hangup?

Perhaps everyone needed to sit down and take a long look at what was expected for the future. I opined earlier in the week that maybe Blashill has grown tired of the losing–that just like players, it’s worn on him. Not to mention that he’s been a human punching bag for the fanbase and critics over the last four seasons alone.

I have critiqued decisions in the past and the low risk defensive system that brought more wins but neutered offense certainly isn’t my cup of tea either. But I still stand by the fact he’s a good coach, and with better players, better results would follow. I can’t imagine the weight of hearing how much you, the team and everything you do sucks day in and day out for years on end.

I know he signs up for it–I know he makes millions. But he’s human and after some time, it just takes a toll. The Tigers Ron Gardenhire stepped away early during a pandemic shortened season–and he knew it was going to be a bloodbath of losing.

Maybe the hangup isn’t Yzerman at all. Maybe it’s Blash.

Or maybe, again, it’s just a few days later before an extension in announced.

If the Red Wings Do Make a Change…

All coaches have an element of that 200 foot game that Blashill insists on but watching Filip Zadina tee off on a beautiful feed from Red Wings teammate Filip Hronek reminds us all that many of these guys have offensive talent oozing to see the NHL ice.

With Lucas Raymond banging on the door, Jonatan Berggren looking like he could be an offensive dynamo, and Jakub Vrana being a revelation after the trade, there’s certainly potential there. A mind that can cultivate that talent, and then build on it is necessary right now.

Hot. It's a Buyer's Market for Jack Eichel. light

That’s not to say it can’t be Blashill. But it might end up being someone else.

Regardless of what happens, Yzerman will ultimately do what he views as an extension of his vision. The longer it goes, the more I wonder if there will be a new face behind the bench.

It’ll be fascinating to see the fan response once Yzerman’s decision has been made.