The Detroit Red Wings have fired head coach Jeff Blashill according to Larry Lage of the Associated Press. In a decision that was announced on Saturday, Blashill coached the Red Wings for seven seasons but was unable to make the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the last six seasons.
Now, it should be noted that the expectations in Detroit over the last few years were not high. This was a Red Wings squad expected to rebuild. One could argue the 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings were put in a position to contend for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and were unable to. They had a record of 32 wins, 40 regulation losses and 10 losses in extra time for 74 points. Detroit was 26 points back of the Washington Capitals, who held the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Blashill’s coaching record with the Red Wings was 172 wins, 221 regulation losses, and 62 losses in extra time for a winning percentage of .378. It should be noted that prior to missing the playoffs for six straight seasons, the Red Wings made the Stanley Cup Playoffs every year for a quarter of a century from 1991 to 2016.
Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has an opportunity to hire his own head coach. He took over the Red Wings general manager job in 2019 from Ken Holland, who is now the general manager of the Edmonton Oilers. Holland had hired Blashill on June 9, 2015.
At the time, Blashill replaced Mike Babcock. In an ironic twist, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Babcock could return to coach the Red Wings. The reason? Yzerman was with the Red Wings when Babcock coached Detroit in 2005-06. There is no doubt Yzerman has made changes from a player personnel perspective to improve Detroit. Now he will make a change when it comes to coaching.