Yzerman has 'no plans' to fire Blashill as head coach
Steve Yzerman says Jeff Blashill will remain head coach of the Detroit Red Wings.
"I have no plans of making a coaching change at this time," the Red Wings general manager told reporters Wednesday, according to WXYZ's Brad Galli.
He added, "I think Jeff has done a good job. The Red Wings are in a rebuild."
Yzerman wouldn't say whether the club picked up Blashill's option for next season, but made it clear he wants the bench boss to stick around for now.
"Jeff's gonna be the head coach of the team and we're gonna do everything we can to make sure he's the head coach of the team," the GM said.
Yzerman emphasized that the Red Wings' primary problem is roster construction as opposed to who's behind the bench.
"Quite frankly, we need to improve the team for anybody to truly critique or assess the coaching staff," the GM said, according to The Athletic's Max Bultman. "We need to improve the team."
This past season was Blashill's fifth with Detroit. The Red Wings made a first-round playoff exit during his first season in 2016, but they've been among the NHL's worst clubs since then, missing the postseason in all four subsequent years while ranking near the basement of the league standings.
The team was by far the NHL's worst in 2019-20, going 17-49-5 with a minus-122 goal differential - 70 goals worse than the 30th-ranked Ottawa Senators.
Detroit named Yzerman GM in April 2019. He returned to the franchise with which he starred as a player and replaced Ken Holland, who left the Red Wings and ultimately assumed the same role with the Edmonton Oilers.