Coach Jeff Blashill gets another season with Red Wings

Ruben Hill
May 29, 2020

"We need to improve the team". "I'm hoping we can look toward some creative solutions (to get on the ice earlier) with the National Hockey League".

"Certainly to know that, to have Steve's confidence, is great, and I look forward to the challenges that are ahead of us". What I like working for Steve is, he tells me exactly the parameters with which I'm working from. "That's the plan, that's the most important thing and ultimately the only way we're going to get it turned around".

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is sticking to his rebuilding plan, which includes not making a coaching change or attempting to pull off a splash in free agency.

The NHL abandoned the rest of the regular season on Tuesday because of the coronavirus pandemic. They had 11 games remaining in Yzerman's first season as general manager. Yzerman, who became Red Wings GM on April 19, 2019, said he did not expect to compete for a playoff spot this season. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way for us. Would it have made sense, I'm not sure, but we would have liked to have played".

Yzerman and the front office spent the year assessing the organization. He learned a lot about the players, on and off the ice.

"The way we've played at times, it is unfair to judge", Larkin said. "I've been very impressed getting to know him over the course of the year". We felt it was going to be a stretch to be a playoff team. I'm not totally shocked by anything. I have to play my best, and I have to play better than I did this year.

It would help if the Red Wings landed forward Alexis Lafreniere, the consensus top prospect in a draft that might not take place until October, after the playoffs conclude. The first phase of the NHL Draft Lottery is set for June 26.

The Red Wings are one of seven NHL teams whose season has ended, and they are the early favourites to snag the first-overall draft pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

"I have mixed feelings about it", Yzerman said. So, it is what it is.

What follows, instead of the traditional "locker clean-out day" media scrums and press conferences, is a series of Zoom calls between Red Wings' personnel and members of the media. "I don't really want to talk a whole lot about it, because he's the coach, and I'm a player, and at the end of the day, I have no say".

"We will get them signed, to what term and (cap hit) remains to be seen", Yzerman said. "We're not going to let them go anywhere". There is no official word on when the playoffs will begin for the 2019-2020 season, let alone a start for the following campaign, though commissioner Gary Bettman hinted at a possible January 1 start date coinciding with the Winter Classic.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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