Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill signs 3-year deal

Red Wings keep AHL affiliate head coach with new contract

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Jeff Blashill (right) as assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings under Mike Babcock (left). He spent one season (2011-12) behind the bench with Babcock before getting the head coaching job in Grand Rapids.

DETROIT - Jeff Blashill's success in Grand Rapids has earned him a new 3-year contract as Griffins head coach, the Detroit Red Wings announced on Wednesday.

Blashill has been Detroit's AHL affiliate head coach for two full seasons, recording an overall record of 88–48–2–12. He was behind the bench for the team's 2013 Calder Cup championship.

Before he signed on with the Griffins in 2012, Blashill was head coach at Western Michigan for one season, then signed on as an assistant coach for the Red Wings under head coach Mike Babcock. Before Western Michigan, he spent two seasons coaching the Indiana Ice of the USHL, where he won a championship.

This season he was named AHL coach of the year as the Griffins posted a 46-23-2-5 record but were knocked out of playoffs in the conference semifinals by the Texas Stars. Blashill managed to keep the team in winning form despite so much of the talent moving up to the NHL.

The 40-year-old coach is definitely headed to the NHL at some point. For now, though, the Red Wings are happy to have him nurturing their young talent in Grand Rapids.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings have yet to sign Babcock to another contract. There is one year left on his current contract.



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