The chatter around the Detroit Red Wings almost exclusively pertains to one of two topics: the team’s vacant head coach position, and newly-crowned Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider. So let’s catch up with all that chatter and see what else is happening regarding the team from Motown.
Trotz, Quinn Confirmed to Interview with Red Wings
It has been almost two months since the Red Wings officially moved on from Jeff Blashill as their head coach. Since then, four teams have hired a new coach, including the New York Islanders who promoted assistant coach Lane Lambert after dismissing coach Barry Trotz. Upon his removal, Trotz was considered by many to be the top free agent coach available. Considering seemingly every team with a vacancy interviewed him, it seems like that distinction may very well be true.
To that point, it appears Trotz is down to three options: the Red Wings, the Winnipeg Jets, and the Nashville Predators (in a front office job).
Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported last month that Trotz had interviewed with the Red Wings. The defensive-minded coach is the third-winningest coach in NHL history, holding a career record of 914-670-60-168 over 23 years. He was the first coach in Predators history, and he spent 15 seasons with that franchise before he moved on to the Washington Capitals. He won the Stanley Cup there in 2018 before moving on to the Islanders the following season. He is a two-time Jack Adams Award winner as the NHL’s best coach, winning it in 2016 with the Capitals and in 2019 with the Islanders.
Adding Trotz behind Detroit’s bench would add instant credibility to the Red Wings as an up and coming force in the Eastern Conference. That being said, the Red Wings are not the only team on his radar, and it seems like the Jets, in particular, are doing everything in their power to bring the Manitoba-native back home.
Another name that is confirmed to have interviewed with general manager Steve Yzerman is former New York Rangers head coach David Quinn.
Quinn coached the Rangers from 2018 to 2021, compiling a record of 96-87-25 along the way. He was essentially the “rebuild coach” for the Rangers in the same way the Blashill was the “rebuild coach” for the Red Wings. During Quinn’s tenure in New York, the Rangers did not win more than 37 games, the drafted second overall in 2019 and first overall in 2020, and he was replaced with Gerard Gallant once the team decided to start pushing toward the playoffs again.
Prior to joining the Rangers, Quinn had a successful run as the head coach of Boston University (BU), a position he held from 2013 to 2018. He led BU to the NCAA tournament in all but his first year behind the bench. He also served as the head coach of Team USA at the 2022 Olympics as well as at the World Championships.
While these are the two names that are confirmed to have interviewed with the Red Wings, the Vegas odds tell a different story of who might be Detroit’s next coach. BetOnline recently listed former Red Wings forward and current Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) coach Sergei Fedorov as the favorite to be named head coach of the Red Wings. After leading CSKA Moscow to the KHL championship this year, people immediately began connecting the dots between Fedorov and his former team.
Meanwhile, chatter is growing louder and louder that current Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde might be the guy Yzerman has his sights set on. Lalonde was the head coach of the Toledo Walleye (the Red Wings’ ECHL affiliate) from 2014 to 2016. The Walleye were 97-35-12 under Lalonde, and he led them to the Conference Final in his first season. He was hired as an assistant in Tampa Bay in 2018 after serving two seasons as the head coach of the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League.
Seider Wins the Calder
In case you haven’t heard or realized by now, the Calder Trophy winner is a Red Wing. Seider became the first German-born player to win the award. Also, Seider became the first Red Wing to win the award since Roger Crozier won it back in 1965. Seider also becomes the first alumnus of the Grand Rapids Griffins (American Hockey League) to win the Calder Trophy, and the first to win a major NHL award since Pavol Demitra won the Lady Byng Trophy back in 2000.
Out of a possible 195 first place votes, Seider earned 170 of them, securing the Calder with relative ease. Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras was the runner-up. Michael Bunting (Toronto Maple Leafs), Lucas Raymond (Red Wings) and Jeremy Swayman (Boston Bruins) rounded out the top five.
Seider also became the first Red Wing to win a major NHL award since Henrik Zetterberg won the King Clancy Trophy in 2015 (awarded for a player’s leadership and humanitarian efforts). This season may not have gone exactly how Seider would have hoped, but winning the Calder Trophy surely helps it go down a little bit easier. It’s probably a safe bet that the Calder won’t be the only trophy to his name before his playing days are over.
- The Red Wings signed Finnish goaltender Jussi Olkinuora to a one-year deal for the 2022-23 season. The two-way deal pays the 31-year-old $750k in the NHL and just $375k in the AHL. Olkinuora previously spent three seasons in the Jets organization (2013 to 2016) before returning to Finland. He was the MVP at the World Championship, helping lead Finland to a gold medal.
- Yzerman is said to have had “preliminary talks” with Dylan Larkin’s new representation in regards to ironing out an extension for the Red Wings’ captain. Larkin’s current deal does not expire until the end of next season, but all indications are that Yzerman and the Red Wings would like to get an extension done sooner rather than later. A deal cannot be signed until July 1.
- The salary cap for next season was officially set at $82.5 million (an increase of $1 million). That leaves the Red Wings with $35.77 million in available cap space.
I am a Western Michigan University alum whose passion for hockey knows no limits. Dr. Pepper enthusiast. Catch me and my fellow Red Wings writers’ YouTube show “The Hockey Writers Grind Line” which drops every Saturday.