Seven – count them – seven NHL coaches have been fired in the National Hockey League this season, and yet Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill is still employed despite presiding over the worst squad in Motor City hockey since the mid-1980’s.
Speculation immediately began to mount that perhaps GM Steve Yzerman would immediately pounce on good friend and old lineman Gerard Gallant, who was unceremoniously fired by the Vegas Golden Knights earlier this month. But so far, there’s been no indication that the first-year Detroit GM is going to make.
And there could be a very simply reason for this. He very well may have his eyes set on a different coach, one he knows very well – Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper.
Of course, Cooper was hired by Yzerman to guide the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2013. He then preceded to take the Lightning to two straight division titles, a record-tying 62 regular season wins last season and a berth in the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals.
Despite being secure in a playoff position, the Lightning are underachieving compared to their record-setting campaign last season and going through stretches of inconsistency.
Detroit fans should be all in favor of potentially bringing another protege of Yzerman to the Motor City. Could this be his plan? Only time will tell.