Former Indiana Ice coach Jeff Blashill was named head coach of the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
It had been speculated that Blashill would be promoted as soon as Wings head coach Mike Babcock moved to a similar position with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Blashill’s first head coaching position began with the Indiana Ice in 2008. He led the Ice for two seasons, coaching them to a Clark Cup championship in 2009. In two seasons with the Ice, he was 72-43-5 in the regular season.
So far, four of Blashill’s players with the Ice – Anthony Bitetto, Torey Krug, Stanislav Galiev and Brian Ferlin – have matriculated to the NHL. A fourth, Nick Bailen, is playing in the KHL, with a number of prospects from his tenure matriculating their way through the minor pro ranks.
He went on from the Ice to coach one season at Western Michigan in 2010-11, leading the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament and a 19-13-10 record.
He went from there to the Red Wings’ organization, first as an assistant to Mike Babcock for one season, and then as the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, from 2012-15. The Griffins were 134-71-23 in the regular season during Blashill’s tenure. In 2012-13, he led the Griffins to the Calder Cup championship. In 2013-14, he was named the AHL Coach of the Year. This past season, the Griffins advanced to the AHL Western Conference Final. Several of his players from Grand Rapids have gone on to become contributors with the Red Wings.