Red Wings Announce Bylsma as Assistant Coach

The Red Wings made official on Friday something that had been rumored for weeks: The hiring of former Penguins and Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma as head coach.

It seemed somewhat inevitable once the Red Wings cut ties with John Torchetti that Grand Haven-native Bylsma would come to Detroit if he couldn’t land a head coaching gig.

I like the move.  That’s partially because every time the Wings’ coaching staff has an opening I worry that they’ll just bring in a former Red Wing who doesn’t have any coaching experience.  It’s also because this gives Detroit a clear backup plan if the team struggles under Jeff Blashill this season.

Coaching isn’t like goaltending, where you might bring in a veteran to backup a struggling younger player to light a fire under him.  Blashill isn’t going to become a better coach just because Bylsma is waiting in the wings (though he might by learning from Bylsma, which is a whole other thing).  But if the Red Wings don’t turn things around and if management decides it’s time to move on from Blasill, Bylsma isn’t a bad option to turn to when that comes.

Torchetti Named Red Wings’ Assistant Coach

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced on Thursday the hiring of John Torchetti as the team’s second new assistant coach.

Torchetti joins former Detroit defenseman Doug Houda as newcomers behind the Red Wings’ bench, led by head coach Jeff Blashill. Houda was named to replace outgoing assistant Tony Granato in May. Torchetti replaces Pat Ferschweiler, who has been moved to a press box role.

In addition, longtime goalie coach Jim Bedard was replaced by Jeff Salajko, formerly the goalie coach for the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Torchetti, 51, most recently served as interim head coach of the Minnesota Wild, having been promoted from head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild, in February. He has previously served as an associate/assistant coach for four NHL teams and. In addition to the Wild, he has been interim head coach of both the Florida Panthers and the Los Angeles Kings.

He will be in charge of the Red Wings’ forwards and power play while Houda handles the defensemen and penalty kill.