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Jeff Blashill sounds off on Steve Yzerman’s view of him

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

The Detroit sports landscape is still buzzing after the official return of Steve Yzerman to take over as general manager from Ken Holland, who is reportedly going to head to northern Canada to join the Edmonton Oilers front office.

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One of Holland’s last official moves as GM of the Red Wings was to re-sign head coach Jeff Blashill for another two years behind the bench through 2021. While many questioned the move due to the fact that Holland likely wasn’t going to remain in his position for much longer, Yzerman said during his introductory press conference that he has every intention of honoring the contract.

Blashill is set to be the head coach of the United States men’s team at the World Championship, which runs May 10-26 in Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia. It’s the third straight year he’ll be behind the bench for the red, white, and blue. Last year’s team won the bronze, and he’ll have current Red Wings players Dylan Larkin and Luke Glendening on his roster. Additionally, Patrick Kane, Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Eichel, Alex DeBrincat, Chris Kreider, James van Riemsdyk and Clayton Keller, defensemen Ryan Suter, Noah Hanifin, Brady Skjei and Quinn Hughes and veteran NHL goaltender Cory Schneider will be on the roster.

But before he leaves for the tournament, he spoke with the Detroit Free Press about Yzerman’s comments, as well as his work with the US team.

“I think it’s important for us to forge ahead that we’re all in with each other and it was great to hear that he (Yzerman) has belief in me and my abilities,” he said.

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“Certainly part of this business is you have to execute on a daily basis, and a big part of that is making sure that as we continue to move young people in, that they are better players in the future than they are today. There are a lot of different ways that happens – some times it’s through hard decisions like sending a young defenseman like Dennis Cholowski to the minors, but in the end, if he’s a better player a year from now than he was today, that’s a great thing.

I’m excited about the fact I get the opportunity to continue to try to drive this organization to where we all want it to be.”

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