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Success of Lions Rubbing Off on Red Wings?

Detroit coach Lalonde still seeking Campbell appearance



Derek Lalonde, Red Wings coach
Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde loves the impact that the Detroit Lions have on his team.

Prior to this season, the 2015-16 Red Wings were the most recent major Detroit sports franchise to participate in postseason play. That streak came to an end when the Detroit Lions were marching all the way to the NFC Championship Game during the 2023-24 NFL season.

The positive karma of the Lions appears to be rubbing off on the Red Wings as they seek to assemble their own playoff run. So much so, in fact, that Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde wouldn’t mind it one bit if members of the Lions were to begin making regular game-day pilgrimages to Little Caesars Arena.

Thus far, five members of the Lions have accepted invitations to sound the ceremonial goal horn prior to games at LCA. The latest was defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson. The Michigan man was on hand for Tuesday’s 8-3 thumping of the Washington Capitals and yes, Lalonde did take notice.

“Hutch had his A-game (Tuesday),” Lalonde said. “He had a little energy going.

“The Lions, I tell you they gave us the three (wins) during the playoff run. The offensive coordinator (Ben Johnson) got us one the other day (in a 6-1 win over St. Louis. We’re talking 10 points there.”

Jared Goff chants, recognizing the Lions QB who’s in need of a new contract, break out regularly during Red Wings home games.

“If we can hold out on the Goff signing, we’ll get some more Goff chants going,” Lalonde joked. “We might parlay this into getting above that (playoff) line.”

Red Wings Lalonde Pursuing Campbell

Meanwhile, Lalonde continues to pursue an appearance from the guru of the Lions’ successful turnaround – head coach Dan Campbell. The Red Wings coach has sought to arrange for his Lions counterpart to give his team a pep talk for nearly two years.

“I got the bat signal out,” Lalonde said. “I know he’s at the (NFL) combine right now. Obviously I would love for him to come and address the boys.

“I know how intense and busy they are right now. They’re 16-18 hour days. But I got the bat signal out. Hopefully we can get him in to speak to the boys.”