It appears that the glory days are long gone for the Detroit Red Wings. The time for a rebuild is now. Could this result in the firing of Jeff Blashill?
It could be argued that Blashill took over a bad situation when he took over as Detroit’s head coach after Mike Babcock left. The veteran roster was only getting older, there were some unfriendly contracts on the books, and it was clear that the Red Wings’ impressive playoff streak would be ending soon.
Blashill was able to get Detroit to the postseason in his first year. However, the playoff run was brief, losing in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning in round one. Unfortunately, it was all downhill after that.
In 2016-17, the Red Wings finished in seventh place in the Atlantic Division with 79 points. After 25 years of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Detroit stopped playing hockey at the end of the regular season. Although their division is the weakest in the league, it is more than likely that the Wings will miss the postseason for the second-straight year.
Should Jeff Blashill be Fired?
With franchises who have such a rich history such as the Red Wings, the demand for success is always high. In reality, Detroit has a generation of fans who are unfamiliar with supporting a struggling team. Unfortunately, they are going to have to get used to it for a least a little while.
As has been mentioned countless times, this team needs to stop trying to retool on the fly and go into full rebuild mode. That means blowing up the current roster as best as they can and inserting a group of leaders who can lead this organization out of the gutter.
Unfortunately for Blashill, that means he must be removed. Things have just not gone as planned during the brief Blashill regime. It is clear that the current roster is already uninspired by his leadership. Who’s to say that will change when the roster goes through a makeover?
When Should They Fire Him?
Ask any Red Wings fan this question after a brutal loss and they will say “right now!” However, that may not be the best way to approach the Blashill situation.
For Detroit, the head coach is not the only leadership/management role that needs some alterations. The Red Wings need a new general manager that can lead this team through a proper rebuild. Luckily, Ken Holland is in the final year of his contract.
With a new general manager coming in, it does not make sense to replace Blashill midway through this season. It would be in Detroit’s best interest to hire a new general manager and then allow him to bring in “his guy”. In addition, the pool of available coaches is expected to be much larger this offseason than currently is.
Firing a head coach midway through a season can only be beneficial if it can drastically change the outcome of the season. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Detroit. The Red Wings are not a playoff team. Even if they somehow sneak into that final spot in the Atlantic, which is unlikely, it would only be due to how weak the division is.
So should the Detroit Red Wings fire Jeff Blashill? The answer is most definitely. However, they need to hold off and do it at the end of the season.
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