Yes, here’s another former Stanley Cup-winning coach the Detroit Red Wings should have considered as their next head coach rather than retaining Blashill.
If Steve Yzerman had decided to fo this route rather than sticking with Jeff Blashill, he wouldn’t have to search far, simply just look down the bench and promote Blashill’s assistant coach Dan Bylsma.
Bylsma enjoyed a plethora of success during his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins defeating the Mike Babcock led Detroit Red Wings seeking back-to-back championships in 2009. Detroit had beat the Penguins in the 2008 finals setting up an exciting rematch in ’09.
The Wings were actually up 3-2 in the series, and leading game six in Pittsburgh but failed to close it out. As the series returned to Motown, Maxime Talbot decided to play the villain scoring both Penguin goals en route to a 2-1 game seven victory.
Sure, Bylsma enjoyed the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Marc-Andre Fleury at his disposal. Still, he proved to elevate his team during that game six and again on the road in game seven of the finals against the defending champs.
Bylsma continued to have success with the Penguins after the Cup win but was never able to reach the finals again. Pittsburgh lost to Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and then endured a second-round exit in ’14 at the hands of the Rangers, leading to his departure with the Pens.
Bylsma served just two years of a five-year agreement with the Buffalo Sabres after star forward Jack Eichel publically expressed his displeasure with the head coach. It once again proves the NHL is becoming a star-driven league. A star player will always outweigh a head coach in today’s league.
Bylsma was brought onto Blashill’s staff to work with the forwards and aid a poor power-play. Things haven’t gone as planned, but it can’t be all Bylsma’s fault. Look at the Detroit Red Wings roster and start sifting through the rosters of the rest of the league. It’s no secret as to why the Wings are by far the worst team in the NHL, a lack of top-end talent.
High-end talent, something Detroit currently seeks, will help create more offense and help the team convert at a more efficient clip on their power-play opportunities.
Not that long ago, Bylsma had been the name often mentioned to replace Blashill, but with how awful the team has performed in recent years, the rumors have come to an abrupt halt.