Derek Lalonde is still laughing about the ranking that placed his looks near the top among NHL coaches.
There’s a lot for Lalonde to do in his role as first-year head coach of the Detroit Red Wings, and it’s nice to have something lighthearted to break up the workload. Lalonde finished his Wednesday morning news conference by referencing Tuesday’s release that had him ranked third in a unique approach to evaluating NHL head coaches.
“Being third on a scientific, analytic study of being the third-most handsome coach in the NHL, it hopefully will help,” Lalonde said, smiling.
To Lalonde’s endless delight, he was ranked far ahead of his former boss, Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper (no. 27) and San Jose Sharks coach David Quinn (No. 29). The release from gambling.com was a hot topic Tuesday afternoon.
“The phone was blowing up,” Lalonde said. “My favorite text exchange throughout the day was Coop — I’m (24) spots ahead of Copper and I’m ahead (26) spots ahead of David Quinn, OK? You can have your own opinion on that. I know what mine is.
“Someone was going around digging Coop a little bit on that, too. And then Coop said, well, this obviously isn’t a win percentage list. And that was the mic drop; that was the last exchange on the most handsome coaches in our league.”
Lalonde said his wife and children, who arrived Tuesday in Detroit after being evacuated from Tampa because of Hurricane Ian, got in on the fun, too.
“They did not side with the scientific study,” he said. “I tried to be like, I’m confused, too — I’m shocked two were ahead of me. They looked bottom up first to find Dad and their husband.”
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.