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 first season on the job in 2015-16.
Of course, Yzerman will have options when it comes to deciding whom the next coach for Detroit will be. One such potential candidate is Peter DeBoer, who was recently let go by the Vegas Golden Knights after 2 1/2 seasons on the job; Vegas also missed the postseason for the first time in their brief history.
Before his time with Vegas, DeBoer served as head coach of the San Jose Sharks, a team he helped to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016 and another Conference Finals appearance in 2019. 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. He boasted a 198-129-34 in the Bay Area.
DeBoer already has a Michigan connection, having been the Plymouth Whalers head coach from 1997 to 2001 and guiding them to several successful campaigns.
There are pros and cons if the Detroit Red Wings decide to hire Peter DeBoer
Not only has DeBoer won over 500 career games behind the bench, but he is also the 7th winningest active coach in the NHL. The Red Wings could stand to use the experience from a figure who has helped his previous teams to two separate championship rounds, especially given the fact that they’re going to be expected to take the next step in their rebuilding process with the likes of young Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond having already established themselves at the NHL level.
However, he tends to wear out his welcome, as he’s done in the locations that he’s been let go from in the past. Additionally, he’s certainly not been shy about throwing his own players under the bus, as evidenced several times this past season with Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner. There has also been criticism regarding his decision-making in regards to line combinations as well as naming the starter between the pipes, given the controversy with Lehner and former Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.