After seven seasons as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings, Jeff Blashill was officially given his walking papers by GM Steve Yzerman, along with assistant Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko.
Detroit finished this season on the outside looking in at the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth consecutive year; Blashill led the team to the postseason on only one occasion, his 1st season on the job in 2015-16.
This will serve as perhaps the most significant change that Yzerman has made so far in his three years on the job after taking over from Ken Holland. And as it currently stands, there is certainly no shortage of candidates for him to consider, including the likes of veteran bench bosses Barry Trotz and Peter DeBoer.
One name was scratched off the list of the potentials, as the New York Islanders named Yzerman's former teammate and roommate Lane Lambert the official successor to Trotz.
One additional name for fans to keep their eyes on is Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde, who was promoted to that position by Yzerman himself in 2018 when he was still serving in his capacity as GM of the Lightning. Lalonde had spent the previous two seasons as head coach of the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman writes:
“The Islanders took Lane Lambert off the board, keeping him for themselves. Jeff Marek has mentioned Tampa Bay assistant Derek Lalonde as a Detroit possibility, and I wouldn’t be surprised if teams want to get to know Jeff Halpern, too.”
Given the fact that Yzerman knows Lalonde well, don't be surprised to see him as a contender to land behind Detroit's bench.