Red Wings will not bring back Jeff Blashill after seven seasons

Detroit News

Detroit — The Red Wings will not bring back coach Jeff Blashill next season.

The organization made the decision Saturday, after the Wings ended their season Friday in New Jersey with a 5-3 victory.

Assistant coach Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko will also not have their contracts renewed.

“Detroit Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today that the team will not renew the contracts of head coach Jeff Blashill, assistant coach Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko,” the Red Wings announced in a statement.

Yzerman will address the media Monday in his season-ending press conference.

Blashill recently completed his seventh season as head coach of the Red Wings and has spent the last 11 seasons with the organization. Houda and Salajko have served in their respective positions for the last six seasons.

The Wings missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, finishing 32-40-10.

The Wings were a surprise team the first half of the schedule and were reasonably thinking about playoff contention until a slide after mid-February. They went 10-19-4 from Feb. 14, when the strength of schedule increased noticeably.

The Wings ranked 31st out of 32 teams in goals-against average (3.78 goals allowed), while also finishing last on the penalty kill (73.8%). They were 26th on the power play (16.3%).

The Wings made the playoffs under Blashill, 48, his first season and were eliminated by Tampa Bay in five games. Since then, as the organization’s rebuild has taken hold, the Wings have fallen dramatically in the standings.

Blashill’s record in his seven seasons guiding the Wings was 204-261-71. He was the second longest-tenured coach in the NHL behind Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper.

Blashill replaced Mike Babcock in 2015, after Babcock left to become head coach in Toronto. Babcock hired Blashill for an assistant’s job in 2011-12.

Blashill became coach of the minor-league affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins the next season, and coached the Griffins to the 2013 Calder Cup

Before arriving in the Wings’ organization, Blashill coached at Western Michigan for one season and took the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament. He also coached junior hockey in the USHL.

Twitter: @tkulfan

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