April 2, 2019 / 8:06 PM / 17 days ago

Red Wings, Blashill agree to two-year contract extension

FILE PHOTO: Ice Hockey - 2018 IIHF World Championships - Quarterfinals - USA v Czech Republic - Jyske Bank Boxen - Herning, Denmark - May 17, 2018 - Head coach Jeff Blashill of the U.S. reacts during the match. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Coach Jeff Blashill and the Detroit Red Wings have agreed on a two-year contract extension, general manager Ken Holland announced Tuesday.

A Detroit native, Blashill, 45, is in his fourth season as coach of the Red Wings. He has compiled a 135-143-47 since his hiring on June 9, 2015. Despite his relatively short time behind the Red Wings’ bench, he is the seventh-longest tenured head coach in the NHL.

“I think that Jeff has done a very, very good job considering the circumstances of a rebuild,” Holland told reporters. “I think on a night-to-night basis, our team has been very, very competitive. I think we’ve been involved in close to the most one-goal games in the league this year. When I look at the development of the young players on our team, as we’ve gone through this rebuild, they’ve all improved, they’ve all gotten better.

“When I hired Jeff as a coach, he was the second-youngest coach in the National Hockey League and he’s been behind the bench now for four years. I think he’s learned a lot in four years behind the bench of a National Hockey League team and I want to put that experience to good use as we go forward in this rebuild. I’m very, very excited to announce that Jeff’s coming back for two more years.”

The Red Wings are 31-38-10 (72 points) and out of the NHL playoff picture with three games to play.

In his first season, the Red Wings finished 41-30-11 and lost in the first round of the 2015-16 playoffs to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Red Wings have not qualified for the postseason since.

—Field Level Media

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