Red Wings Top 10 Question Marks Heading Into the Off-Season

Jeff Blashill. Former Red Wings head coach. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jeff Blashill. Former Red Wings head coach. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
Jeff Blashill. Former Red Wings head coach. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Who Will Be the Next Head Coach of the Detroit Red Wings?

The Detroit Red Wings, as I stated above, let multiple coaches go this off-season. One of those coaches they decided not to renew was head coach, Jeff Blashill.

Jeff Blashill was one of the winniest coaches in Grand Rapids history and that resume led to him getting the Red Wings coaching job back in 2015. Which, looking back on it, was probably the biggest mistake the organization has made in some time. But, they decided to let him walk this year and not bring him back. Therefore, the Red Wings will now be searching for a new head coach.

The last coach that Steve Yzerman hired was current head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jon Cooper. That hiring seemed to work out pretty well as Cooper is not competing for a third-straight Stanley Cup. So, why can’t Yzerman find a good candiate for the Red Wings? Some of the candidates that I feel the Red Wings should at least consider are the following: Barry Trotz, Igor Larionov, Pete DeBoer, Jim Mongtomery, Sergei Federov, and Jeff Halpern.

We previously broke down the coaching candidates, but here’s a little on each of the coaches and their potential fits.

Barry Trotz, NYI

Trotz has previously coached for the Nashville Predators, Washington Capitas, and the New York Islanders. And until this season, has done well everywhere he has coached. Despite having an mediocre year this year with the Islanders, Trotz is still one of the best coaches in the league.

In my opinion, the Islanders aren’t actually as good people think they are. Trotz made them good. Now, I’m not saying that they didn’t have some good pieces. I mean, Mathew Barzal, and Noah Dobson are some of the more respected players at their desired positions. However, they don’t have the talent people think they do. Trotz being fired for having a mediocre year with a medicore team was not fair. However, that just means he’s available for the Red Wings.

Igor Larionov, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod

The Detroit Red Wings are in the market for a new head coach and that means that they will be busy with interviews in the coming weeks/months. It’s unlikely that they will hire someone given the fact that there are teams still in the playoffs. However, you can bet that Yzerman will be making calls and scheduling interviews.

There has been a lot of talk around the Red Wings community about who the next head coach should be, but quite frankly it’s a little too early to truly figure out who’s in the running. All we can currently do is speculate and give our thoughts and opinions. So, with that being said, one of the names that I feel should be at the top of Yzerman’s list is former teammate: Igor Larionov.

Igor Larionov is probably remembered as one of the ‘russian five.’ Having won three Stanley cups with the Red Wings, he knows a great deal about winning and what it takes to do so. Not to mention he understands what it means to put on the winged sweater.

Larionov was once quoted saying this to

"“My philosophy is to teach hockey the right way. To be professional, pay attention to detail and play good, enthusiastic hockey that requires skill, the mindset and the work ethic needed to be successful. I guess maybe it’s not appropriate to compare to a previous coach and someone who I have a lot of respect for, but at the same time I’ve tried to go back to the roots of Russian-style hockey, when we played at high speed and used quick minds and quick feet. I enjoy the smart team play and playing an offensive style that requires imagination. We will play with skill, play for each other and give maximum effort.”"

Larionov and Yzerman have the connection that I feel makes this an realistic option. Furthermore, I think that Larionov’s connection to Detroit makes him a valuable option that would be loved by the Detroit fan base.

Pete DeBoer, VGK

Pete DeBoer was released from his mantle shortly after being elimated from playoff contention at the end of the season. DeBoer, who was coaching the Vegas Golden Knights, was at the mercy of multiple injuries to not just some but a majority of his roster this past season. His coaching style wasn’t the problem, he was just delt a bad hand that he couldn’t overcome. But a change of scenary could be good for DeBoer and the Red Wings are in need of a head coach.

This could be a long time coming for DeBoer to return to the mitten. Having been in the backyard of the Red Wings when he coached the Plymouth Whalers. His tenure with the Knights was good but, as I said above, he was at the mercy of a ton of injuries and a bad goalie situation. He just didn’t have a lot to work with, but given his coaching history and the success he’s had, he could be a perfect candidate for the Red Wings.

Jim Montgomery, St. Louis Blues

Jim Mongtomery has been the underlying name in most people’s list to fill the coaching vacancy. Kind of acting as a dark horse candidate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name slowly move up the charts as we get closer to the free agency mark.

Mongtomery was the assistant coach for the St. Louis Blues this past season, but prior to that, he coached the Dallas Stars and led them to their fist playoff apperance in three years. Now, in a full disclosure statement, he was fired from the Stars back in 2019 due to alchol abuse. He then checked himself into rehab before making a return to coaching back in 2020.

Montgomery’s ability to coach a team is undeniable. I mean, where he has gone, there has generally been success. But, It would be a bit of a flyer taking a chance on a guy with a checkered past.

Sergei Federov

This one would be quite the surprise, but I think I’d love to see it happen.

Federov was one of the most remarkable players the Red Wings ever had. He was respected by some of the all-time greats a lot. Players like Wayne Gretzky, Aleksander Ovechkin, and Brendan Shanahan had nothing but good things to say about him as a person, and for his hockey talent.

Now, the reason this would be a big flyer would be because he doesn’t have any listed coaching experaince. So, him jumping right into a coaching position would be an adjustment. Now, I do think that knowing how he was as a player, would make his transition easy, but it’d still be quite the risk.