Detroit Red Wings head coach Dave Lewis signed a one-year contract extension at the NHL Entry Draft Saturday, ensuring that two early playoff losses in two years will not cause him to be replaced this summer.
Since Lewis took over head coaching duties from Hall-of-Famer Scotty Bowman in the summer of 2002, the Red Wings have had little success in the playoffs. In 2003 they were eliminated in the first round by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and in 2004 they fell in the second round to the Calgary Flames. Both seasons, the team that eliminated them advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals before losing in seven games.
“We’ve talked about some of the areas that hasn’t been as good in the playoffs,” said general manager Ken Holland, specifically mentioning a need to get bodies in front of the net. “We need to focus on scoring those ugly goals.”
Associate coach Barry Smith and assistant coach Joe Kocur are expected to return to the bench alongside Lewis next season but their contracts have yet to be worked out.