Following the conclusion of the 2021-22 NHL regular season, the Detroit Red Wings announced they would not be bringing back head coach Jeff Blashill for the 2022-23 season.
“Ultimately to make that decision, I felt our team fundamentally, that we kind of… I don’t even know if plateaued is the right word. But we had gotten to a point where fundamentally, with and without the puck, we had regressed,” Yzerman added.
“We’re at a point now where I felt like I’ve got to see if bringing in a new coach and coaching staff can make a difference to get us back and get us going in the right direction,” Yzerman said.
Red Wings beat writer suggests which coach Steve Yzerman is waiting for
The question is, who is Steve Yzerman waiting for?
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press believes Yzerman could be waiting for Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach, Derek Lalonde.
From Detroit Free Press:
Given how much time he has had to interview available candidates, Yzerman may be waiting for the Stanley Cup Final to end so he can talk to Derek Lalonde, who has been an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning since Yzerman’s last year with the team. Lalonde, mentioned early on as a candidate by the Free Press, was an assistant at Ferris State early in his coaching career, and has been a head coach at the USHL and ECHL level. He coached in the latter with the Toledo Walleye from 2014-16, before Yzerman’s return to Detroit but during Toledo’s affiliation with the Wings. During his first season, Lalonde led the Walleye to a 50-15-5-2 record, claiming the Brabham Cup as the ECHL’s regular-season champion. Before being hired in Tampa in 2018, Lalonde was head coach for two seasons in the AHL with the Iowa Wild. During his tenure (69-58-17-8), the Wild posted team records for wins, home wins, road wins, fewest losses and total points in a season.
The Lightning are currently playing in the Stanley Cup Final so if Yzerman is indeed waiting for Lalonde, or another Lightning assistant, what St. James wrote makes sense.
Nation, would you like to see the Red Wings hire Derek Lalonde to be their next head coach?