It took a while, but Detroit Red Wings general manager, Steve Yzerman said it would. The Red Wings named Derek Lalonde head coach in a move that seems to be a perfect fit. Every team talks about “the process,” in what can only be described as refreshing yesterday at the introduction press conference Lalonde gave detail into his process to mold the Red Wings into a more consistent hockey team.
Derek Lalonde is a winner. He has won and won big at every coaching stop he has made. Including with the Tampa Bay Lightning as that organization won back-to-back Stanley Cups and played for another this past season.
Steve Yzerman described Lalonde as checking all of his boxes as to what he was looking for in a head coach. Lalonde himself said he is a players coach but with a slight twist, he holds players accountable. Which any head coach should.
Onto what Derek Lalonde said was his own personal “process” in transforming the Detroit Red Wings, Lalonde said he wants to and needs to improve the teams defense. No truer words have been spoken. The Red Wings 3.78 goals against were second from the bottom in the NHL.
Next Lalonde moved onto the power play and penalty kill. The Red Wings were dead last in both of those areas. Next was to make the team harder to play against. The Red Wings have lacked fortitude and resilience and that needs to change.
Derek Lalonde mentioned a couple of other areas. But, the focus was centered around getting the Red Wings to play a more consistent brand of hockey. Which Lalonde has a history of doing.
This is the first NHL head coaching job for Derek Lalonde. Steve Yzerman is banking on a coach who has a history of connecting with players to help the Red Wings young core as they prepare to add more players in the coming days (2022 NHL Draft and free agency.)
Keep this in mind, Steve Yzerman built a heck of a hockey team in Tampa Florida and hired Jon Cooper, who was also a first time head coach at the tie he was brought in. Steve Yzerman does not miss the mark. If he feels Derek Lalonde is the right guy, he is.
So how do you feel about the new Detroit Red Wings head coach? Drop a comment and let me know.