3. Is Jeff Blashill the right guy going forward?
Many within hockey circles would not have been surprised if Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill lost his job after presiding over what was a nightmare 2019-20 season that was full of losses, humiliating beatings and very little hope.
However, Blashill didn’t have a lot to work with and losing was part of the plan for the Red Wings, who are in dire need of an elite game-changer in order to really accelerate this rebuild.
And, while Detroit will still be a lottery team in 2020-21, they should be a lot more competitive thanks to the plethora of clever moves made by General Manager Steve Yzerman during the offseason.
Therefore, there will be few excuses for Jeff Blashill this season.
He’ll now have a legit NHL starter in Thomas Greiss who has been stellar for the New York Islanders over the last couple of seasons and will be a significant upgrade on Jimmy Howard, while the likes of Marc Staal, Jon Merrill, Troy Stecher and Christian Djoos, and not forgetting a healthy Danny DeKeyser, will ensure that Blashill will actually have a competent blueline unit to work with in 2020-21.
Blashill has also been blessed with some legit offensive weapons in the form of Bobby Ryan, who put up 42 points (15 G, 27 A) just two years ago, and smart two-way forward Vladislav Namestnikov, who will both help improve what was a dire offense in 2019-20.
As a result, Blashill will be expected to make this Detroit Red Wings team a hell of a lot more competitive in 2020-21, while getting the best out of Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi, and also helping to unlock the potential of prospects in the ilk of forward Filip Zadina.
However, if it is another tough and gruelling year for this team and they show no signs of improvement at all, then GM Steve Yzerman may decide that he needs a new guy behind the bench to help usher in a new era of Detroit Red Wings hockey when it does arrive.