With Jeff Blashill not having his contract renewed, the Detroit Red Wings are in the market for a new head coach. General Manager, Steve Yzerman said he will look everywhere until he finds the right fit. The NHL is a league of retreads. Unlike other sports, NHL teams have never been shy about bringing in a coach who has been in the league. So which direction will Yzerman go? That is anyone’s guess. Here is a list of names to know.
Rick Tocchet, who has a history with Steve Yzerman as the two played against each other. Tocchet has worked with rebuilding teams before so that is a plus. Tocchet also has three Stanley Cup rings (1 as a player and 2 as a coach.)
The Red Wings were by all accounts a “soft” hockey team. If Yzerman wants to instill grit and toughness in his young team then a coach who could fit the bill is John Tortorella. ‘Torts” as he is known as, is abrasive and demanding which is why he has enjoyed success. Tortorella has finished .500 with every team he has coached.
Now we come to two coach’s who would be a bit of a stretch, but this is Steve Yzerman. The same Steve Yzerman who gave a lawyer (Jon Cooper) a head coaching job and has lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. Both coach’s are former Detroit Red Wings and teammates of Yzerman.
Sergei Fedorov, who is the head coach of CSKA Moscow and who won the championship. It was Fedorov’s first season behind the bench. While I do not see Fedorov as a legit candidate simply because he needs more seasoning behind the bench, Yzerman’s former line mate could be an attraction of sorts.
Another former teammate and winner of three Stanley Cup Championships in Detroit is “The Professor,” as he is known as, Igor Larionov. Larionov was part of the legendary “Russian Five.”
Named by teammates “The Professor” because he studied the game like few others and has a very good philosophy and understands the game like a coach who has been in the NHL for years. Not that Larionov will get the job, but he fits the bill almost perfectly. He has made no bones about the fact he wants to be a head coach.
Again, no one knows what is going through Steve Yzerman’s mind. He could bring in a retread or go his own way.
Drop a comment and let me know who you think the next Detroit Red Wings head coach should be.