Jeff Blashill’s replacement in the AHL has been chosen.
After rounds of talks over the last two week or so, the Detroit Red Wings have hired Todd Nelson to coach their AHL-affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins. The only other realistic candidate who was in the mix was current Toledo Walleye head coach Derek Lalonde.
The Grand Rapids Griffins will hire Todd Nelson as next coach, per MLive source. @GRPress
— Pete Wallner (@petewallner) June 17, 2015
— Bob Duff (@asktheduffer) June 17, 2015
Nelson already has a lot of coaching experience in the AHL, having coached the Oklahoma City Barons for four seasons, to a record of 161-105-42. He was promoted from the Barons to the Edmonton Oilers as the interim head coach, when former head coach Dallas Eakins was fired back in December. In his short stint in Edmonton, he coached to a 17-25-9 record. That, combined with his success in the AHL, led to interviews with not only Detroit, but also the Pittsburgh Penguins for a coaching vacancy with their AHL affiliate as well.
His lack of a future with Edmonton was decided when they hired Todd McLellan to be their new head coach.