Red Wings hire Dan Bylsma as assistant coach
DETROIT (AP) Dan Bylsma is returning to the state where he was born – and where he won the Stanley Cup as a visiting coach.
The Detroit Red Wings hired Bylsma as an assistant coach Friday. The 47-year-old Bylsma, a Grand Haven native, worked as an assistant alongside Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill at this year’s world championship in Denmark, helping the United States to a bronze medal. Bylsma was Pittsburgh’s coach when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009 by winning Game 7 of the final at Detroit.
”I’ve lived two lives in this aspect,” Bylsma said. ”The first 20 years of my life I was a Detroit Red Wings fan. For the next half of my life, I may not have been, but I’ve always had in the back of my mind that coming back home and working for the Red Wings and being a part of the Red Wing organization was something I wanted to do.”
Bylsma is 320-190-55 as a head coach in the NHL. He took over the Penguins during that 2008-09 season and was with them until 2014. He also coached the Buffalo Sabres for two seasons from 2015-2017. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year in 2011.
Blashill has been Detroit’s coach since 2015, when the Red Wings lost Mike Babcock to Toronto. Detroit missed the playoffs the past two seasons. Blashill was hopeful Bylsma can help Detroit’s power play, which ranked 24th in the league this season.
”He’s got a very organized plan how he believes the power play should execute, how he believes the power play should be run,” Blashill said. ”He’s always been real good on the faceoffs, and having a good plan on the faceoffs, and specifically on the power play. And honestly, that’s something – I haven’t been good enough.”
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