The Detroit Red Wings have had two assistant coach positions open for a while now. First Brad McCrimmon parted ways with the Red Wings and ultimately landed a job in the KHL, and later Paul MacLean was hired to be the head coach of the Ottawa Senators. Detroit has been searching for their replacements ever since, and the expectation is for a decision to be made later this week.â†µ
One of the assistant coaching vacancies could be filled by a local guy. Western Michigan head coach Jeff Blashill, who only took over the Broncos a year ago, said on Wednesday that he has interviewed for one of the Red Wings' openings. Blashill surprisingly led Western Michigan to the NCAA tournament last season and impressed many in the college hockey world. Now he may get to make the jump to the NHL after only one season in Kalamazoo.â†µ
"I think when Mike Babcock calls and Ken Holland calls and the Detroit Red Wings call, you certainly listen," Blashill said. "Yeah, it’s a potential great opportunity.â†µ
"I love Western Michigan. This is a special place in college hockey. I wouldn’t be talking to any other colleges, that’s for sure. But obviously it’s the NHL and the Red Wings are what they are."
If offered, I can't imagine Blashill would turn down the opportunity to be an assistant for the Red Wings and coach under a guy like Mike Babcock. It would be a great résumé builder, especially for somebody who wants to someday become a head coach in the NHL.