Red Wings lock up Jeff Blashill to coach Griffins of AHL

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – Jeff Blashill will remain the head coach of the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins on a three-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings.

GM Ken Holland of the Red Wings said that championship experience their young players got under Blashill was instrumental molding them into NHL players.

It was also a big factor in getting the Red Wings into the playoffs for a 23rd straight season.

“We’re excited to keep one of the top young coaches in hockey to continue to lead in the development of the next wave of Red Wings,” said Holland.

There were 13 players from Blashill’s 2013 Calder Cup championship team that skated for the Red Wings this season, including eight who went on to appear in the postseason.

These were Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, Joakim Andersson, Brian Lashoff and Luke Glendening.

A total of 17 players skated for both Detroit and Grand Rapids during the 2013-14 season, including nine who made their NHL debuts.

Blashill, 40, has been in the Red Wings’ organization for the past three seasons, spending one season as Red Wings assistant coach before being named head coach of the Griffins prior to the 2012-13.

In his first season with Grand Rapids, which had missed the playoffs four times in its previous five years (2008-12), he led the team to a Midwest Division regular-season title and its first-ever Calder Cup championship.

Blashill also won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2013-14 season.

He was head coach for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic, which pitted AHL All-Stars in a skills competition, and the All-Star Game against Farjestads BK of the Swedish Hockey League.

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