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What Gets Red Wings’ Jeff Blashill Off Coaching Hot Seat This Season

How hot is the seat for coach Jeff Blashill with the Detroit Red Wings? GM Steve Yzerman is looking for improvements.

While you might not expect a team that isn’t projected to fair all that well in a shortened 56-game campaign to accomplish much or hold those in charge to high standards, it appears management has an idea as to what constitutes a successful season. And, if head coach Jeff Blashill is unable to meet those goals, he might not see a 2021-22 NHL campaign with the Detroit Red Wings.

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According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has gone to bat for Blashill on a number of occasions. He will likely continue to do so. She writes:

“Yzerman has endorsed Blashill multiple times: Before the 2019-20 season, at the trade deadline, and again after the season ended. Yzerman said it’s unfair to judge Blashill based on the 17-49-5 record, because the roster needs to be better before Blashill can be fairly assessed,”

At the same time, St. James says that Blashill can’t be blamed when the organization has moved out skilled players (Gustav Nyquist, Andreas Athanasiou, etc.) in order to acquire future assets.

That said, the length of rope Blashill is expected to be given this coming season should be considerably shorter. There’s an expectation that the Red Wings make up ground after setting season-low records. Yzerman has done good work adding some pieces this offseason and while the team isn’t likely to be a contender, there’s enough there that the Red Wings want to see steps forward.

St. James notes “…Blashill is on the hot seat. He is entering the last year of his contract and will be in charge of an improved roster….” She adds, “They don’t look like a playoff team, but they will be expected to be more competitive.”

Jeff Blashill Detroit Red Wings coach

So What Does This Mean For Blashill?

If the Red Wings look as bad as they did last season, don’t expect him to make it to the end of a shortened campaign. Yzmerman may decide to pull the plug on another disastrous year, but he’ll want to put a new bench boss in place that will set early goals and expectations for any young asset that makes it through the NHL trade deadline.

But, if Blashill can show improvement (which honestly shouldn’t be that hard to do) he might earn himself another deal.

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  1. The Huh

    December 15, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    I don’t think Blashill has proven that his methods work at the NHL level. He seems to be good at the lower levels with developing players, but it just doesn’t translate. I think that he is gone at seasons end, unless Wings make playoffs and have a decent run. Frankly, I don’t see it but stranger things have happened.

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