If it were not for COVID-19, the Detroit Red Wings would have already played their final game of the 2019-2020 regular season. Though nothing has been finalized, it seems more and more likely that the remainder of the season will be canceled with the hope that the NHL will figure out a way to hold the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
For the Red Wings, the playoffs have been the last thing on their minds for some time now as they had what was by far the worst record in the NHL. Because of that, GM Steve Yzerman is surely thinking long and hard about an important decision he has to make before the 2020-2021 season begins. Heck, knowing Yzerman, that decision may already be made in his head.
That decision is whether or not he will bring back head coach Jeff Blashill for another season. Yzerman has made it clear that he does not blame Blashill for the Red Wings’ struggles this season but that does not mean he is committed to bringing him back.
In fact, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, it is likely that Blashill does not return as head coach but that he does remain in the organization in a different role. St. James added that there are two candidates who are the favorites to replace Blashill.
From Detroit Free Press:
The evidence: Yzerman has been emphatic he does not hold Blashill responsible for the team’s 17-49-5 record, pointing to injuries and limited talent on the roster. Still, the Wings have missed the playoffs four straight years under Blashill, and Yzerman is likely to make a change.
His former linemate, Gerard Gallant, has been available since January after the Vegas Golden Knights dismissed him. Yzerman’s former roommate, Lane Lambert, is an assistant with the New York Islanders. Those are believed to be the two leading candidates Yzerman is considering to be the next Wings coach.
The verdict: Most likely gone as coach, but might be offered a different job in organization.
Nation, if Yzerman does decide to move on from Blashill, would you prefer Gerard Gallant or Lane Lambert as the next Red Wings head coach? Or, do you have somebody else in mind?