New Detroit Red Wings Coach Jeff Blashill Inspired by Police Officer Dad

Blashill: Red Wings must earn the right to compete for the Stanley Cup.

If you’re unwilling to work hard and trust your teammate, the team will accomplish nothing.

=Jeff Blashill

On Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings named Detroit-born Jeff Blashill as the team’s 27th head coach in franchise history.  

Blashill is the first American to become the Red Wings head coach and at 41, he’s the second youngest coach in the NHL.  Known for being a terrific communicator who demands accountability from his players, Blashill has tasted championship success at every level of coaching.

In 2013, his first year as the Grand Rapids Griffins head coach, he guided the Wings’ top minor league team to the American Hockey League championship — the Calder Cup — with many of the same players he’ll be coaching in Detroit.  A son of a former Detroit police offer, Blashill credits his upbringing with giving him the foundation that has allowed him to be considered one of hockey’s brightest minds.  

Blashill joins Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today and touched upon a myriad of topics.  

Here are some of the highlights of the discussion:

  • Blashill says his father taught him early on in his life that you must be accountable for your actions.
  • Because of the nomadic lifestyle of a coach, Blashill has relied upon and grown closer to his wife.
  • Blashill says there is a thin line between being a playoff team and not being one in the NHL – the talent level for each team is basically the same.
  • Blashill will rely on the leadership of the Red Wings veteran players since they’ve accomplished so much during their careers.
  • Detroit #1 draft pick last season, Detroit native, Dylan Larkin, has a quiet self-confidence and could become an elite level player, say Blashill. He cautions that we must give Larkin time to figure it out.
  • In order to be a Stanley Cup champion, a team must earn it on the ice, says Blashill.  If you’re unwilling to work hard and trust your teammate, the team will accomplish nothing.

To hear the entire conversation, please click the audio link above.