Assistant coaches to be announced Friday

DETROIT — The Wings will announce who will assist head coach Mike Babcock on Friday.

Ken Holland told The Macomb Daily Wednesday that Friday was the day the two new assistants will be named.

The Wings made that announcement official Thursday.

A source confirmed that Western Michigan University head coach Jeff Blashill is a finalist for one of the two assistant coach openings.

Holland would not confirm if Blashill is a finalist but did say, “We have had conversations with him.”

Blashill guided the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament this year for the first time in 15 seasons. He squad also made it to the CCHA tournament championship game.

Because of those accomplishments the school increased his base salary from $150,000 to $275,000. He also could earn $100,000 more in incentives.

Blashill has been an assistant coach at Ferris State and Miami University. In 2009, he was named head coach and general manager of the Indiana Ice, a Tier 1 junior hockey team in the United States Hockey League. In his only season there he guided the Ice to the championship.

Both of Babcock’s former assistants each landed head coaching jobs.

Paul MacLean was named the head coach in Ottawa, while Brad McCrimmon was hired as the head coach for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

McLean was with the Wings for five seasons, while McCrimmon spent three seasons in Detroit.

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