Detroit Red Wings players weigh in on Derek Lalonde’s first season as head coach

Following the 2021-22 season, Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman announced that he had decided to move on from Jeff Blashill. As we know, Yzerman eventually made the decision to hire Derek Lalonde to be the Red Wings' next head coach, and though the team fell short of making the playoffs, there were improvements along the way. During recent interviews, some of the Red Wings' players weighed in on Lalonde's first season as their coach.

Derek Lalonde Detroit Red Wings

Key Points

  • Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman hired Lalonde as head coach for the team's 2021-22 season, resulting in improvements to the team's organization and playing style.
  • Red Wings players, such as Dylan Larkin and Ville Husso, spoke highly of Lalonde's coaching abilities, praising his mindset and attention to detail in meetings and video sessions.
  • Lalonde was able to find the right messages to motivate the team and deal with different situations, earning the respect of veteran players like David Perron.

Detroit Red Wings players weigh in on Derek Lalonde's first season

Here is what some of the Red Wings players had to say about their first season under Lalonde:

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Dylan Larkin

“We were organized,” Larkin said. “Especially late in the season, after the All-Star break, we really took steps in the system. He’d tell you it’s a process to learn it, it’s very different from what we’ve played in the past. Once we kind of got comfortable with it, we won a lot of games because of it.

“I was really impressed with our organization and how we played as a team.”

Ville Husso

Goaltender Ville Husso said Lalonde, “has a good mindset for hockey. It’s been a good year for him. Of course he would have liked to make the playoffs, but it’s still looking at the big picture, I think we improved a lot. I really like him.”

David Perron

“He really progressed into getting comfortable behind the bench and running the whole thing,” Perron said. “His meetings have been spot on, video sessions have been incredible for everyone, and especially the young guys, to hear the details of what winning teams to do. It’s been just harping at it all year, really. The timing, everything, has been really spot on and i’ve been really impressed with that. 

“He always finds the right message to push for any given night. He was finding the right thing to say, the right moment, and I think we came through for him. We had different situations to do deal with, but he was the right person to lead that.”

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Bottom Line: The Red Wings players respect Lalonde

In his first season as head coach of the Red Wings, Lalonde received praise from some of the team's veterans, including Larkin, Husso, and Perron. The players expressed their respect for Lalonde and his ability to improve the team's organization and system, as well as his spot-on meetings and video sessions. Though the team fell short of making the playoffs, Lalonde's leadership and ability to find the right message for each game earned him the respect of his players and sets a promising foundation for the team's future.

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