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The Daily: Bloody Friday For NHL Coaches; Red Wings Staff Remaining Intact

Yzerman praises performance of Derek Lalonde



Red Wings bench
Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde and his staff will be back for the 2023-24 NHL season. (Photo by Michael Caples)

Several NHL teams that missed the Stanley Cup playoffs were making coaching changes on Friday, but the Detroit Red Wings were not among them.

While Columbus (Brad Larsen), Anaheim (Dallas Eakins) and Washington (Peter Laviolette) all were firing their coaches, Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde was confirming that his staff will be remaining intact for the 2023-24 NHL season.

They include associate coach Bob Boughner, assistant coaches Alex Tanguay and Jay Varady, goalie coach Alex Westlund, video coordinator L.J. Scarpace and assistant video coordinator Jeff Weintraub.

“I’m very happy with our staff,” Lalonde said. “My first time as a head coach I had a specific reason of hiring every single person with a need. We’re still growing as a stuff but they checked off a lot of boxes. They helped me grow immensely.”

Detroit GM Steve Yzerman was also acknowledging his satisfaction with Lalonde’s performance as a first-year NHL head coach.

He handled things very well,” Yzerman said. “I think he has a good assessment of our team. I’m very pleased with the first year and I think Derek would say regardless of all his experiencing coaching, the first year behind the bench in charge, you learn a lot about the daily grind of coaching, the preparation, the practices, the travel, all that.

“You feel more comfortable after a year and he’s only going to continue to get better.”

Griffins Go Out On Losing Note

Like the parent Red Wings, the AHL Grand Rapid Griffins finished their season with four successive losses. Detroit scored three goals over the final four games; Grand Rapids scored four.

A 4-1 road loss on Saturday to the Chicago Wolves was the conclusion to a 28-36-4-4 record for a total of 64 points. Grand Rapids is missing the Calder Cup playoffs for the second successive spring.

Taro Hirose led the Griffins in scoring with a career-high 57 points. Joel L’Esperance netted a team-best 25 goals, including a power-play marker in Saturday’s setback.

Red Wings In Case You Missed It

  • Detroit draftee Amadeus Lombardi was making an impressive pro debut with the AHL Griffins
  • Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde believes that his team was finishing right about where they belong in the NHL standings
  • One objective on Detroit GM Steve Yzerman’s to do list is an overall improvement of the club’s top farm club in Grand Rapids
  • Yzerman is admitting that being a GM during a rebuild is an emotional roller coaster

Hockey Now Network

Boston: Forward David Krejci was back at practice with the Boston Bruins but captain Patrice Bergeron remains an absentee.

Florida: The Florida Panthers remain uncertain whether injured forward Sam Bennett (groin) will be available for Game 1 of the playoffs against the Boston Bruins.

Pittsburgh: Captain Sidney Crosby says the Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t earn the right to be playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Montreal: The Montreal Canadiens should proceed with caution when it comes to Denis Gurianov’s new contract.

Philadelphia: Center Kevin Hayes is hinting that he’s expecting the Philadelphia Flyers will be trading him this offseason.

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Colorado: Jared Bednar, coach of the Colorado Avalanche, is suggesting he’ll have pretty much a full lineup at his disposal for Game 1 of the playoffs against the Seattle Kraken.

Vegas: Previewing the first-round playoff series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets.

Los Angeles: Previewing the first-round Stanley Cup series between the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers.

San Jose: Discussing the most pressing areas of improvement required by the team with San Jose Sharks coach David Quinn.

Calgary: Forward Jonathan Huberdeau is vowing that he’ll have a bounce back season in his second campaign with the Calgary Flames.