The Detroit Red Wings are 14-23-6 this season and though their roster is nothing to call home about, head coach Jeff Blashill does not seem to be getting the most out of it. Because of that, Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman should make the decision to fire Blashill (now or at the end of the season) and bring in the head coach that will lead the team into the future.
Though the Red Wings were absolutely awful during the 2019-2020 season, Yzerman has made it clear that he does not blame Blashill at all for the team’s struggles. And to Blashill’s defense, the Red Wings do not currently have a roster capable of winning very many NHL games.
But what if Yzerman does decide to move on from Blashill? Who would be the top candidates to take over as head coach?
I truly believe that Yzerman will turn to one of his buddies to lead the way.
Those buddies are Gerard Gallant and Lane Lambert.
Gallant, who is one of Yzerman’s former teammates, is currently a coaching free agent but just after Christmas, he told CBC News that he is ready to get back into hockey.
“Definitely I’m anxious to get back at it.”
Gallant most recently coached the Vegas Golden Knights from 2017-2020 where he led the new franchise to a pair of first-place finishes and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. He is a coach that players love to play for and he told CBC News that he will not change when he returns to the NHL.
“I’ll coach the way my personality is. I treat the players real well, we come into the rink, we have a lot of fun and that’s what you are. I’m not going to change and try to be a Scotty Bowman or a Mike Keenan or a Jacques Demers, I’m going to be myself and that’s what you have to be. You take a little bit from all the coaches you know and have played for, but you’ve got to be yourself when you coach.”
The question is, would Galant be willing to come in and take over a rebuild? Probably not, but if anyone can convince him, it would be Yzerman.
The other pal Yzerman could turn to if he decides to replace Jeff Blashill is Lane Lambert.
Lambert, who is a former roommate of Yzerman, is currently an assistant with the New York Islanders. He has been an assistant coach since 2011 and those who know him, say he is a head coach in waiting.
“He’s got a really tremendous understanding of the game,” Trotz said . “He’s passionate. He’ll listen. I think he’s a demanding teacher, and he is all in on winning. There’s no agendas. You talk about the ultimate team player — that’s Lane.
“I am surprised that I still have him and that he is still a part of the staff. I think he’s well overdue — his name will be out there, for sure.”
You can bet Lambert will be a head coach in the NHL before long and I would not be surprised at all if he comes to the Detroit Red Wings.
Nation, what do you think Yzerman will do? Which of these candidates do you prefer?