Tag Archives: mike babcock

Wings lock up their insurance policy, Blashill, if Babcock bolts after next season

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings have locked up Jeff Blashill to keep him in the organization for three more seasons.

The move to keep him as the Grand Rapids Griffins coach gives the Wings an insurance policy if they are unable to work out a new deal with Mike Babcock, who’s heading into the final year of his contract.

“He’s very happy where he’s at,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in an interview last week. “I think he’d like to spend another year or two in the AHL, getting more experience coaching pros.

“He wants to be in the NHL but he’s got family in Michigan and enjoys where he’s at in Grand Rapids,” Holland added. “I told him some teams have called, he’s happy where he’s at. He’s happy to be in Grand Rapids for at least another year, maybe two. See how it goes.”

Holland called the salary increase “significant” since Blashill is being patient for another year or two.

Blashill spent one season in Detroit, where he was in charge of the power play, after leaving Western Michigan University.

“He can continue to develop, evolve as a coach in hopes that there continues to be interview opportunities in the next couple of years,” Holland said. “He’s very happy where he’s at.”

Blashill guided the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 15 seasons during his one season in Kalamazoo. His squad also made it to the CCHA tournament championship game.

“Mike Babcock identified Blash as a guy who’d be great on our staff,” Holland said. “He did a tremendous job turning around Western Michigan. A year under Mike Babcock in Detroit was beneficial and positive for his career.

“We wanted somebody who had aspirations to move on and bring in some energy,” Holland continued. “He did a fabulous job in Grand Rapids.”

Blashill won the Calder Cup with the Griffins last season.

He’s also played a key role in the development of the players in Grand Rapids, which showed as many of them helped in getting the Wings to the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season.

“We’ve seen in Grand Rapids over the last year, year and a half … scouts identified good players and Jeff Blashill has done a fabulous job in the development of those players,” Holland said. “If Blash really wanted to pursue a head coaching job, we would support him.

“It’s an important time in Detroit,” Holland added. “We’re trying to develop another group of players who’ll be key contributors to us having playoff success. It’s important that they learn to win the American Hockey League level. This season and next summer is a critical time in Detroit as we transition young players into being Red Wings. Jeff Blashill is an important guy as we go through that transition. He’s excited to continue to have an impact on the Red Wings.”

Blashill has also 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.

Blashill played goal for Ferris State from 1994-98.

Datsyuk opts for rehab over surgery to repair ailing left knee

DETROIT >> Will he or won’t he need surgery?

It looks like he won’t.

Pavel Datsyuk appears to be leaning toward an aggressive rehab to strengthen his ailing left knee, according to Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.

“As of right now I don’t think he’s having surgery,” Holland said in a phone interview. “He’s begun some offseason workouts in Detroit. We’ve asked him to stay in communication.”

Holland said coach Mike Babcock introduced Datsyuk to a local trainer to begin a rehab program to strengthen his left knee in order to avoid going under the knife.

“He’s pushing hard and we’re going to continue to monitor,” Holland said. “If nothing changes, he won’t have surgery.”

Holland added that Datsyuk will be re-evaluated in possibly a couple of weeks.

“We asked him to push hard,” Holland said. “At the end of the year he had no pain. That’s why the doctors said they can’t recommend surgery if he doesn’t have pain.

“The hockey people felt he had a quickness to his stride in playoffs,” Holland added.

Datsyuk will be in Detroit for another month to hopefully help fix the ailment.

“As we go along, if he has no discomfort or pain we’ll do no surgery,” Holland said.

The Wings announced they were shutting Datsyuk down for three weeks at the trade deadline due to inflammation in his ailing left knee, which wound up being four weeks.

He missed 16 straight games, but returned for the final six of the regular season.

Detroit went 8-6-2 in those 16 games without their shifty forward.

Datsyuk, who turns 36 on July 20, had 17 goals and 20 assists in 45 regular season games.

“He has an ability to change the game,” Babcock said last season.

“He slows the game down,” Darren Helm said of Datsyuk. “He plays with so much poise and skill he backs the other team’s D off a lot.”

Datsyuk, who wound up missing 30 of the final 40 regular season games, played all five games in the first round series with the Boston Bruins, leading the team with three goals and five points.

Datsyuk played for Russia at the Olympics.

Babcock named finalist for Jack Adams Award; Nyquist: “He’s a great teacher.”

DETROIT >> For just the second time in his NHL coaching career, Mike Babcock has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, given annually by the broadcasters to the league’s top coach. Continue reading

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock opened up his morning meeting with the media by a follow up to a statement he made Wednesday regarding the birth and pending birth of newborns for two players on his team … Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall.

“I would assume that they’re both playing (Datsyuk and Kronwall),” Babcock said Wednesday. “They’re not giving birth. Their wives are. One has and one is.”

Datsyuk just had a daughter, while Kronwall’s girlfriend is expecting to give birth soon.

“Just before we get started I got an email from my wife that said I’m not allowed to say the things that I said yesterday about giving birth,” Babcock smiled on Thursday. “So I apologize. I said I didn’t realize you guys were that sensitive. So I’ll clear it up today.”

Advice for Franzen: “Get on the inside.”

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock made one simple statement when asked about Franzen’s struggles,” Get on the inside.”

In his last 21 games, playoffs and regular season, he has one goal, seven assists and a minus-5 rating. In the previous 23 games, he had 13 goals, 16 assists and a plus-14.

Franzen is third on the team in shots on goal through three games with eight.

“Even if I’m not scoring that’s not what I’m doing for this team,” Franzen said on the eve of the first round series with Boston. “It’s not why I go out and play games to score goals. I’ve got a lot of things to do before that. It’s not even fifth on the list, probably, when you go out to a game.”

In his last 30 playoff games since the start of 2011, he has seven goals (one game winner), four assists and a minus-8.

In his previous 51 playoff games from 2008-2010, he had 31 goals (nine game winners), 28 assists and a plus-29.

Quote of the day … Mike Babcock on Luke Glendening

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock on why he’s comfortable with Luke Glendening playing against David Krejci.

“Just ulra-competitive, skater, heavy,” Babcock said. “He used to be a football player, loves the contact, loves being a greaseball. Plays hard. Draws other guys into battles, has great hockey sense. Very competitive.”

Analogy of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock came up with a perfect analogy regarding the on-ice incident between Brendan Smith and Zdeno Chara near the end of the first period of Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Bruins.

“I thought he made a good decision,” Babcock said. “I don’t know why he’d go toe to toe with him.

“The way I look at it, if you’re a really good speaker then you should find employment speaking,” Babcock continued. “If you’re a really good fighter you should find employment fighting. So you walk into the bar and there’s this beautiful young gal standing next to this 6-foot-9 monster who you know makes his living fighting for a living and you’re the best pool player in the bar. Are you going to play pool or are you going to fight? Figure it out. It seems simple to me.”

Boston had the second most fighting majors during the regular season with 46. The Wings had a league low seven.

“One guy’s 6-foot-9, one guy’s not,” Babcock said. “What would be the good decision? I guess all I’m saying is I think you should do what you do well … play pool.”

Chara had two fighting majors this season as did Smith.

Quote of the day II … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock when asked what facets of the game this feels his team is better in than the Boston.

“I think we’re complete,” Babcock said. “I think we’re way better than people think. I think we’re a hard out.”

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock on what the advantages and disadvantages were to starting the series on Friday after last playing on Sunday.

“I don’t know what the disadvantage could be for our team,” Babcock said. “We needed the time, we need to freshen up some people. We had ground hard to get in. When they were in here they gave guys days off and we couldn’t give anybody days off and the other thing about it is when you’re the lower seed, the more detailed you can be, the better off you can be. And so preparation time has been great for us. Ideally it will be an equalizer and give us an opportunity to really compete.”

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock on what Daniel Alfredsson and David Legwand has brought to the team.

“I don’t to take anything away from Pav or Z, because they’re huge parts of our team, but Nik Kronwall set the tone for this team this year because he did it every day, all the time. Alfredsson gave him another support guy, along with the Mule, in my opinion, because those other guys weren’t available to us.

“When you look at that group right there, to me they did the most of the work leadership wise,” Babcock continued. “That’s so critical. We all want to rave about our kids, but we don’t make the playoff unless Ken makes that deal at the deadline. If we don’t Legwand we don’t get in the playoffs.”