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Red Wings Coach Lalonde Describes GM Yzerman as Extremely Demanding

Lalonde welcomes Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman’s passion



Derek Lalonde, Red Wings coach
Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde likes that GM Steve Yzerman demands the most out of him.

Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde credits Lightning coach Jon Cooper, his boss in Tampa Bay, for teaching him much in the ways of being an NHL head coach.

“Back to back Stanley Cups, we won 11 straight series,” Lalonde said. “It’s only been done two or three times in history. Coop may ultimately wind up in the Hall of Fame one day because of the run he did.

“You can sit back and say he had a really good team. No, the way he managed and the way we managed that group was amazing. Now that I’m away from it I may appreciate it a little bit more.”

Red Wings Lalonde Was Learning About Stevie Y From Cooper

Another aspect of his time in Tampa Bay during which Lalonde was given an education by Cooper was via the manner in which he interacted with the Lightning’s GMs  – especially Steve Yzerman, now Lalonde’s GM in Detroit and the man who hired him to coach the club.

“Watching Coop operate with (current Lightning GM) Julien (BriseBois) one year, watching Coop operate with Steve, that’s an art in itself, too,” Lalonde explained.

That a coach and GM be on the same page is vital to team success. They need to be in lock step in terms of how develop players and once they get to the big club, in that their utilization is being properly handled. If there are disagreements in this aspect, a rift will develop and real problems can ensue.

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“We’re in this together,” Lalonde said. “We have to be. Coop told me in taking this, Steve’s going to be demanding but that is the most important relationship. It’s been great so far.

“I love working for Steve. He’s extremely, extremely demanding, but that comes from passion. There’s no one here that wants to get this going more than him and I love that. I wouldn’t want it any other way. “