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Red Wings Hire Former Avalanche Rival as New Assistant Coach

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The Detroit Red Wings hire Alex Tanguay as their new assistant coach
The Detroit Red Wings hire former Colorado Avalanche player Alex Tanguay as their new assistant coach

The Detroit Red Wings announced Wednesday the hiring of former Colorado Avalanche player Alex Tanguay as their new assistant coach. He replaces Dan Bylsma who was let go after the season.

“I’m happy to be working with Jeff (Blashill), Steve (Yzerman) and the Detroit Red Wings organization,” Tanguay said.

Tanguay, 41, spent the last two years as an assistant coach with the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild. Over those two seasons, the Wild combined for a 54-31-8-4 record, with a second place finish in the Central Division and Western Conference during the 2019-20 campaign. Iowa had the AHL’s fifth-best power play in Tanguay’s first season behind the bench at 21.9 percent.

Last season, the Red Wings’ power play percentage of 11.4% ranked 30th out of 31 NHL teams.

Tanguay played 1,088 games in the NHL and registered 863 points. He earned 28.4% of his points on the power play. He won a Stanley Cup with the Avs in 2001 and played for the Colorado team that lost to Detroit in the 2002 Western Conference final.

“The hockey world is a small world,” Tanguay said. “Even though we battled for the championship versus the Red Wings in the early 2000s, I always had great respect for the quality of players and individuals they had and I think the feeling was the same on their side as well. There were great competitors on both sides.”

Iowa had one the AHL’s most productive offenses, improving from 3.08 goals per game in 2019-20 to 3.15 goals per game over a 34-game schedule in 2020-21. The Wild also had the second-best shot-per-game average in the AHL in each of the past two seasons, averaging 32.68 combined in Tanguay’s stint with the club.

After retirement, Tanguay worked briefly as an analyst for the NHL Network.

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