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Potential candidates for Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman to consider replacing Jeff Blashill with

The Steve Yzerman era in Hockeytown hasn’t gotten off to the greatest start, though he warned that success on the ice wasn’t going to come right away.

And was he right. The Detroit Red Wings have only won two of their past 16 games, and are by far the worst team in the National Hockey League.

As the losses pile up, speculation will naturally begin to grow around the job security of head coach Jeff Blashill. The head coach since the departure of Mike Babcock in 2015, Blashill inherited a team in rebuild mode, so it wouldn’t be entirely fair to place the blame of their struggles on him alone.

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But NHL teams have been known to make changes when they haven’t been featured in the win column in several weeks, regardless of the overall status of the on-ice product. Yzerman showed the hockey world during his tenure as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning that he isn’t afraid of making shrewd and bold moves, and should he decide to pull the trigger on a coaching change for the Red Wings, there are a handful of candidates that he’d potentially consider.

1. Dan Bylsma

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The first and most obvious choice would be the current assistant coach under Blashill, former Pittsburgh Penguins/Buffalo Sabres bench boss Dan Bylsma. A Stanley Cup winner in 2009 against the Red Wings with Pittsburgh, Bylsma boasts a 401-252-117 record and was the 2011 recipient of the Jack Adams award, given annually to the top NHL bench boss.

2. Guy Boucher

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A Guy Boucher hire would be a logical choice, given the history between him and Yzerman. He was hired as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning by Yzerman in 2010, and subsequently led the Lightning to game seven of the 2011 Eastern Conference Final. He later repeated that feat with the Ottawa Senators in 2017. He also led the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs to a North Division Championship in 2009-10.

3. Peter DeBoer

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DeBoer was recently let go by the San Jose Sharks, a team he helped to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016 and another Conference Finals appearance last year. He boasted a 198-129-34 in the Bay Area. He’s also served as head coach of the New Jersey Devils, whom he led to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012. His NHL coaching experience also extends to Florida, where he was behind the bench for the Panthers from 2008 to 2011. Plus, DeBoer already has a Michigan connection, having been the Plymouth Whalers head coach from 1997 to 2001, and guiding them to several successful campaigns.

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Michael Whitaker
Michael Whitaker
Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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