First coach falls as Detroit Red Wings fire Jeff Blashill

jeff blashill fired
Mar 5, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill reacts during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The first head to roll in the coaching ranks is Jeff Blahill of the Detroit Red Wings.

On Saturday, the team announced they would be moving on from their longtime head coach, along with assistant Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko.

Red Wings fire Jeff Blashill

After another disappointing season in Detroit, they will be looking for a new bench boss. Thing likely got very stale in the Motor City after 7 season with Blashill being the bench.

Blashill, 48, will finish his tenure as the Red Wings coach with a record of 204-261-72. He ranks fifth in Red Wings history for games coached with 537 and sixth for wins with 204.

He was signed to an extension last season.

In terms of a replacement, Steve Yzerman has a few candidates he could look at. John Tortorella leads the pack of names for potential coaching replacements. Rick Tocchet is another obvious candidate as is David Quinn. What about Paul Maurice, who left Winnipeg because he felt his message was no longer resonating? And finally, is Mike Babcock going to be given another chance?

For a young team on the rise like the Red Wings, I like Rick Tocchet’s chances to be hired this offseason.

Tocchet’s career coaching record is 178-200-60. The 58 year-old former NHL power forward took the reins as head coach of the Coyotes back in 2017. Tocchet amassed a 125-131-34 record with Arizona during his tenure. He is widely considered an up and coming coach who knows how to relate to his players. Many in NHL circles view his record as a feat for getting more with less than any other coach.

If the Flyers snatch him up first (Mike Yeo has yet to be relieved), then the 63 year-old Torts may be a possibility. He is only 12th all-time on the NHL’s win list. In 1383 games he has a record of 673-541-37-132. His postseason record is 56-64 winning a Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tortorella is a fiery coach known to get into some heated moments with the media and his players. But he is also widely considered one of the fairest coaches in the business.