Though there weren’t any games played, the Detroit Red Wings still had their fair share of news. Head coach Jeff Blashill was awarded an extension, which according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, is a two-year deal. The deal was met with mixed reviews by Red Wings fans but the one move that wasn’t debated was the departure of assistant coach Dan Bylsma. A lackluster power play must have factored in, and while Blashill didn’t blame him entirely, he didn’t exactly provide a ringing endorsement either.
Blashill Extension Was Expected
It was hardly surprising, though the delay on the news was. But the next question will center around how this team improves and who they bring in to coach the power play and forwards. Steve Yzerman constantly pointed to himself when it came to improving the team, and all but exonerated Blashill from the blame of the team’s performance. As the end of the year press conference with Yzerman wore on, his words seemed to indicate that more pieces would be added than the last, especially coming in the form of coming from within.
Whether that includes Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond remains to be seen, but Seider seems to be on the fast track to the Red Wings roster. Raymond has a good shot, but a lot will depend on who Yzerman adds in the meantime.
But other Red Wings activity this week showed another step forward for the Yzerplan.
Berggren’s Signing Shows Progress
When the Red Wings announced Jonatan Berggren’s signing of an entry-level deal, it signaled another step forward to get the younger talent onto the roster. Berggren was selected in Ken Holland’s last draft as Red Wings manager, and to date, it’s shaping up to be Holland’s finest draft in the last decade. Yzerman also signed another young defenseman from his 2020 draft, Eemil Viro which doubles down on that younger talent finding its way to North America.
The process will take more time, but as the pieces come together, there could be some very exciting moments in Hockeytown if it all comes together.
Detroit Red Wings Key Dates Ahead
The NHL Lottery is scheduled for June 2 and the Red Wings currently have the sixth best odds. The breakdown is as such:
1st overall – 7.6%
2nd overall – 7.8%
6th overall – 30%
7th overall – 43.8%
8th overall – 10.9%
Every Wings fans disgusted by watching Detroit fall in every lottery since 2017 should just gear up for the inevitable. With Yzerman at the helm, I’m not too concerned about where they pick or who they take. Going back to the Seider moment, it’s turned out quite well.
Not to forget Washington’s first round pick acquire in the Anthony Mantha trade, the mystery there is what Yzerman could do with it. Conventional knowledge backed by his many quotes support him using it for the draft. But something tells me this draft could be one of the more unpredictable ones in a long while.
Here’s hoping the ping pong balls bounce the right way for Hockeytown.