As he set out in pursuit of a new coach, Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman admitted that he held a fondness for familiarity. The ability to trust someone is a trait he treasures in his hires.
As things turned out, Yzerman is opting to go to his well of knowledge. The man who will be taking over behind the bench for the Red Wings is well known to him. On Friday, the team was announcing that Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Derek Lalonde would be the new coach of the team.
It was during his tenure as GM of the Lightning that Yzerman hired Lalonde for his first NHL job. He was an addition to the Tampa Bay staff of head coach Jon Cooper on July 12, 2018.
Red Wings Yzerman Familiar With Lalonde’s Work
“I’m very pleased to announce Derek as our new head coach,” Yzerman said in a statement. “He has proven himself as an excellent coach at every level and has spent the last four seasons in the National Hockey League as part of a very successful program in Tampa Bay.
“We feel he is ready to take the next step in his career as the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings.”
Lalonde, 49, is a coaching lifer. He’s been steadily working his way up the ladder. There’s been stints in the USHL with the Green Bay Gamblers. The pros have seen him working in the ECHL with the Toledo Walleye and in the AHL with the Iowa Wild.
UPDATE: Detroit #RedWings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman today announced that the team has named Derek Lalonde the 28th head coach in franchise history.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) June 30, 2022
“I’m thrilled to be named head coach of the Red Wings,” Lalonde said in a statement. “I’d like to thank Chris Ilitch and the entire Ilitch family, as well as Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings management team for entrusting me with the opportunity to lead this historic franchise. I’m ready to get to work with our group. There’s a very bright future ahead in Detroit.”
Lalonde Has Litany of Coaching Experience
A native of Brasher Falls, N.Y., Lalonde has won at every level along the way. He won a Clark Cup title and was named USHL coach of the year with the Gamblers. Lalonde also was coaching with the USA team at the World Under-17 Challenge. This experience saw him winning bronze as an assistant coach and gold as a head coach.
In the pros, he led Toledo to back-to-back Brabham Cup titles as the ECHL’s best regular-season squad. He won the John Brophy Award as ECHL coach of the year. With the Wild, he guided the club to the first winning season in franchise history.
During four seasons on the Tampa Bay staff, Lalonde has helped the club appear in three straight Stanley Cups, winning two Cups as well as a Presidents’ Trophy.
Lalonde launched his coaching career as an assistant at Lebanon Valley College, Hamilton College, Denver and Ferris State. Like his predecessor Jeff Blashill, Lalonde was a college netminder. He played in the in the Division III ranks with SUNY Cortland.