Detroit Red Wings presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow the Red Wings of YouTube! Follow DetroitRedWings on Periscope! Follow the Red Wings on Vine! Follow the Red Wings on Google +! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Follow the Red Wings on Pinterest! Follow the Red Wings on Tumblr! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App

  • RSS

Wings move Blashill to Griffins

Michigan native is excited for return to his teaching roots

Monday, 06.25.2012 / 4:08 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
Share with your Friends

Wings move Blashill to Griffins

After one season as an associate coach with the Red Wings, Jeff Blashill will take over the coaching duties at Grand Rapids. (Photo by Dave Reginek)

DETROIT – Jeff Blashill is returning to his teaching roots.

The 38-year-old Blashill, who spent last season behind the Red Wings’ bench as an associate to coach Mike Babcock, has accepted an offer to become the new head coach of the franchise’s American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids.

“It’s a great opportunity to coach at the American Hockey League level where I wanted to eventually go to be a head coach,” Blashill said. “Of the franchises in the American Hockey League, Grand Rapids was No. 1 for a number of reasons, including from a professional standpoint to remain in the Red Wings’ organization.”

Blashill becomes the ninth head coach in Griffins’ history, replacing Curt Fraser, who accepted a position on the Dallas Stars’ coaching staff last week. He ranks first in franchise history in both regular-season games coached (316) and wins (146).

A collegiate goalie at Ferris State University, Blashill remained with the Bulldogs following his senior season, latching onto an assistant position in 1998, and after three seasons at Ferris and another six at Miami University, he took a head coaching gig with the Indiana Ice in 2008, and led them to the USHL championship in his first season.

Two years ago, Blashill returned to the CCHA as head coach at Western Michigan University, and earned national coach of the year honors from two college hockey publications for rejuvenating the Broncos, which had a losing record a season earlier. Under, Blashill, the Broncos improved to 19-13-10, finished fourth in the CCHA regular-season, but managed to reach the CCHA tournament championship game before falling to Miami.

Blashill, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., is quite familiar with Grand Rapids, having lived in suburban Comstock Park during his coaching days at Ferris, which was about a 50-minute commute each way. But teaching is something that Blashill lives to do.

“My background has been through college hockey and then junior hockey and back to college hockey,” he said. “Watching guys get better over a course of a season, being able to really help them learn better habits, develop more skill and prepare them to play at a higher level is something that I have always enjoyed.

“I’ve always enjoyed watching my former players go on to have great success, like Alec Martinez, who I coached at Miami University, raise the Stanley Cup with L.A. this year, and I was extremely excited for him. It’s that mentorship that I really enjoy and something that I look forward to in the American Hockey League.”

Because Blashill was able to relate with the Wings’ younger players, like Cory Emmerton, Jan Mursak, Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith, it was certainly something that general manager Ken Holland considered and thought could help in a smooth transition to Grand Rapids.

“We’re very excited to name Jeff the next head coach of the Griffins,” Holland said. “He’s a talented coach that has a proven track record of working well with young players. He did a tremendous job for us in Detroit last season and we look forward to having him grooming and mentoring our prospects in Grand Rapids.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Site Map