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Lalonde named Red Wings HC

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Replaces Blashill after spending past four seasons as assistant with Lightning

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Derek Lalonde was hired as coach of the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.


The 49-year-old replaces Jeff Blashill, who the team previously announced would not return after seven seasons.


It is Lalonde's first head coaching job in the NHL; he was an assistant for the Tampa Bay Lightning the past four seasons and on the coaching staff that won the Stanley Cup in 2019-20 and 2020-21. Tampa Bay lost to the Colorado Avalanche in six games in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.


"I'm thrilled to be named head coach of the Red Wings," Lalonde said. "I'd like to thank (Red Wings owner) Chris Ilitch and the entire Ilitch family, as well as (general manager) Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings management team for entrusting me with the opportunity to lead this historic franchise.


I'm ready to get to work with our group. There's a very bright future ahead in Detroit."


Lalonde was named an assistant by the Lightning on July 12, 2018, when Yzerman was their general manager.


"[Lalonde] has proven himself as an excellent coach at every level and has spent the last four seasons in the National Hockey League as part of a very successful program in Tampa Bay," Yzerman said. "We feel he is ready to take the next step in his career as the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings."


Lalonde guided Iowa (Minnesota Wild) of the American Hockey League for two seasons and Green Bay of the United States Hockey League to the Clark Cup title in 2011-12, earning coach of the year honors. He also coached Toledo in the ECHL from 2014-16.


Lalonde was a college goalie for SUNY Cortland before starting his coaching career as an assistant for Ferris State in 2003. He was also an assistant at the University of Denver for five seasons.


Lalonde is the seventh coach to be hired since the conclusion of the regular season. Lane Lambert was hired by the Islanders on May 16, Bruce Cassidy replaced Peter DeBoer as coach of the Golden Knights on June 17, John Tortorella was hired by the Flyers on June 17, DeBoer was hired by the Dallas Stars on June 21, and Paul Maurice was hired by the Florida Panthers on June 22. Luke Richardson was hired by the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.


The Jets and Boston Bruins are in the midst of a coaching search.

Edited by Brewin Flames
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I like the hire. I was impressed with him at his first PC. I like his mindset. Hope it is contagious.


I was a bit averse to having inflammatory coaches like Torts come in. Yes, I think several Wings players need a firm kick in the butt or three, but Lalonde's emphasis on relationships says a LOT. He won't rule with an iron fist alone, but I think he'll be more disciplinarian than Blash was. There is a balance to be found between being a teacher and a disciplinarian. I think Lalonde is close to where we need the HC to be right now.


And if John Cooper* says he is ready, he is.


(* And as much as I don't like Cooper because he coaches one of our rival teams, I think he is an excellent coach. I really thought his post-Cup interview with Kevin Weekes was fantastic for a losing coach's interview. Not sure I've seen a better one. I hold him in high regard.)


It will be interesting and important to see whom he chooses as his assistant coaches. We need a great mind to fix our PP and make the PP great again. And our PK, which has in seasons past been the one flickering light is now in need of a re-working, because it's not.


I would LOVE to see him get Filip Zadina's head on straight! Get him going. The other young talent will get better, but if Lalonde is able to get Zadina clicking, that alone will justify the Blashill-Lalonde transition and confirm the issue was coaching.

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