The Detroit Red Wings are looking to get busy this off-season, and it started by cleaning house with their minor league coaching staff. While they are not expected to let Derek Lalonde go anytime soon after just one year with the team, things at the AHL level are changing.
The Detroit Red Wings announced that they will be moving on from head coach Ben Simon. His support staff of assistants Matt MacDonald and Todd Krygier, along with goaltending coach Brian Mahoney-Wilson are also not going to have their contracts renewed.
It’s a big deal for the future of Red Wings hockey since so many prospects have funneled their way through the Griffins organization and will continue to do so. The Red Wings seemed to feel it was time for wholesale change within the organization, trying to shift around their coaching staff to bring in a fresh set of coaches.
Doing so could change the way prospects are developed throughout the organization and hopefully allow for the Red Wings’ future prospects to pass through Grand Rapids smoothly on their way to Detroit.
Detroit Red Wings fire Grand Rapids Griffins coaches.
Simon had been with the Griffins since 2015. He was an assistant with the team before getting promoted to the head coach role, where he has led the Griffins to a 144-137-38 over his five seasons as bench boss.
It was not a move that was super shocking. Devin Little of The Hockey Writers penned a piece about Simon falling short of expectations published in January. He mentions that the development of prospects was an area of question with the Griffins in recent years.
It’s truthful. Sure, they have seen some of the prospects come through the Griffins organization and get the job done. But they have also seen some players struggle to reach the potential the Red Wings felt they should be at.
The move to not renew the contracts of the Griffins coaching staff is not puzzling. It’s understandable. The Red Wings will be looking to bring a new coaching staff from top-to-bottom that allows them to foster a better culture of player development.
At the end of the day. The Red Wings are looking for Grand Rapids to be a stepping stone as prospects move toward a career with the Red Wings at the NHL level.
Not to say every prospect is the next Connor McDavid, but the Red Wings are looking for coaches that can help develop some of these prospects to their full potential so that they can provide value to the Red Wings roster in due time.