NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Washington Capitals
Nov 18, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill talks to his team from behind the bench against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

USA Hockey announced this afternoon that Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill will be the boss behind the bench at the upcoming IIHF World Championships.

It’s Blashill’s first time coaching the National team, although he was the goaltending coach for Team USA at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. The tournament is taking place in Germany and France this year from May 5-21, although Team USA will play their games solely in Cologne, Germany.

It might be an interesting tournament for the Americans, as many players are upset at the fact the NHL won’t let them compete next year at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. Will this have an impact on the final roster? My guess is most definitely. From the Red Wings, Dylan Larkin and Justin Abdelkader are good bets to make the team roster, and possibly Jimmy Howard depending on what goaltenders are available. The World Championships is smack dab in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so many of the best players aren’t available.

The Sault Ste. Marie native and Ferris State Bulldog is being heavily scrutinized this spring after a season to forget behind the bench in Detroit. The Red Wings 25-year playoff streak came to a close and many fans are calling for change behind the bench, although that’s highly unlikely. Let’s hope Blashill uses this opportunity to coach Team USA as a learning curve and maybe he’ll learn how to manage great players if the Wings ever get any.

Before coaching the Red Wings, Blashill spent 3 seasons in Grand Rapids coaching Detroit’s AHL affiliate. Prior to that, he spent a season working as an assistant in Detroit under Mike Babcock and also spent time at Western Michigan University where he helped to revive a Bronco hockey program that was in complete disarray. Blashill has been successful almost everywhere he goes, now he needs to use his experience to translate that success to the NHL level.

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