Red Wings Name Houda Assistant Coach

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced on Tuesday that the team has hired former Red Wings defenseman Doug Houda as an assistant coach.

Houda joins Detroit after ten years as an assistant with the Boston Bruins. He replaces Tony Granato, who left the Red Wings to take over the program at the University of Wisconsin.

Houda, 49, was selected in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the Red Wings in the second round, 28th overall. The Wings traded him to the Hartford Whalers in 1991 but he returned to Detroit for three games in the 1998-99 season.

While Granato had been in charge of the team’s defensemen and penalty killers, Houda’s role with the team was not immediately announced. For his first eight years in Boston, Houda ran the blueline and the power play before switching to just manage the defensemen. It is expected that he would take over Granato’s position.

Head coach Jeff Blashill will have a drastically different staff when the season opens next fall. In addition to Granato’s departure and Houda’s arrival, assistant coach Pat Ferschweiler has been shifted into the press box and will be replaced by an NHL veteran on the bench. As well, longtime goalie coach Jim Bedard will not be brought back, with Grand Rapids Griffins goalie coach Jeff Salajko the leading candidate for his replacement.

Red Wings Round Out Coaching Staff

Two weeks after naming Jeff Blashill as the team’s 27th head coach, the Detroit Red Wings rounded out their coaching staff with the additions of Pat Ferschweiler and Dave Noel-Bernier.

Tony Granato, who spent last season as an assistant under the since-departed Mike Babcock, will remain with the club, as will goaltending coach Jim Bedard. Additionally, former Red Wing Chris Chelios will work with the team’s defensemen, though he will not have a role behind the Detroit bench.

Ferschweiler and Granato will be Blashill’s assistants with Ferschweiler taking the spot of Jim Hiller, who left with Babcock for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Noel-Bernier will replace Andrew Brewer – who also followed Babcock to Toronto – as the team’s video coach.

Ferschweiler and Noel-Bernier both spent last season as assistants under Blashill with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Blashill Named Red Wings’ Head Coach

The Detroit Red Wings made it official on Tuesday, naming Jeff Blashill as the 27th head coach in team history.

Blashill’s hiring had been expected since former head coach Mike Babcock left to take over the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 20. The Red Wings didn’t want to announce anything with Blashill still coaching the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs.

The Griffins were eliminated by the Utica Comets in the Western Conference Finals a week ago, paving the way for Tuesday’s press conference.

Blashill coached Grand Rapids for three seasons, leading them to a Calder Cup Championship in his first year with the team in 2013. In that time, the Griffins compiled a 134-71-23 record and never finished lower than second in the Midwest Division.

Prior to taking over the Griffins, Blashill spent one year as an assistant to Babcock with the Red Wings. A former collegiate goalie for Ferris State, Blashill got his coaching start as an assistant with the Bulldogs before moving on to the Miami Redhawks for six seasons. Blashill got his first head coaching job with the USHL’s Indiana Ice in 2008-09 and led them to a Clark Cup Championship in his first year. For the 2010-11 season he jumped to the Western Michigan Broncos, taking them to the CCHA Championship game.

In replacing Babcock, Blashill becomes Detroit’s first new head coach in ten years.

With assistant coaches Jim Hiller and Andrew Brewer following Babcock to Toronto and Tony Granato turning down the optional year on his contract, Blashill has a blank slate to work with behind the bench in Detroit, though Granato may yet return.

Red Wings Add Hiller, Brewer as Assistant Coaches

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Wednesday the additions of Jim Hiller and Andrew Brewer to Mike Babcock‘s coaching staff.

Hiller replaces Tom Renney, who left the Red Wings to take over as president of Hockey Canada earlier this summer. Brewer takes the spot of video coach Keith McKittrick, who moved on to the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.

The Red Wings had previously announced the hiring of Tony Granato to replace Bill Peters, who took the head coaching job with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Hiller, who played 21 games for the Red Wings during the 1992-93 season, had spend the last five years as head coach of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. Before that he was the head coach of the Chilliwack Bruins for three years. Hiller may be the analytics mind that the Red Wings had stated they were looking to add to the organization, as he reportedly has a program that he was attempting to market to NHL teams.

Brewer has spent the last three seasons as a video coach for Hockey Canada, working with Babcock during the 2014 Olympics, where Canada won the gold medal.

Reports: Red Wings Coaching Staff Loses Renney, Adds Granato

TSN of Canada reported on Monday that the Detroit Red Wings made two coaching changes.

Associate Coach Tom Renney will be leaving the team, taking over as president of Hockey Canada while Tony Granato has been hired as an assistant coach to replace Bill Peters, who took over head coaching duties for the Carolina Hurricanes earlier this summer.

Granato comes to the Red Wings from the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he spent the last five seasons as an assistant under recently-fired head coach Dan Bylsma. Prior to that he was an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche, then that team’s head coach, then assistant coach again before a second promotion to head coach.

The Red Wings cannot formally announce Granato’s hiring as he is currently still under contract with the Penguins. The team is working with Pittsburgh to secure his release.

Granato’s 13-year NHL career was split between the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks.

Renney leaves the Detroit organization after two years, having been brought in to replace Jeff Blashill as he moved on to the head coaching role for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He will replace Bob Nicholson at Hockey Canada in a role that Nicholson had held since 1998.

Lidstrom, Lewis Named All-Stars

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and head coach Dave Lewis will be a part of the NHL’s Western Conference All-Star team again this season. Lidstrom was named a starting defenseman and Lewis was named the team’s head coach when starting lineups were announced Thursday night.

It is the sixth-straight season that Lidstrom has been named a starting defenseman in the All-Star Game. From 1998 to 2002 he was named to the World All-Star team. Last season he was a member of the Western Conference All-Stars.

Starters for the two teams are determined by fan voting conducted at NHL arenas and online through Lidstrom finished third in Western Conference voting with 90,995 votes. He was behind only Vancouver Canucks winger Todd Bertuzzi and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Rob Blake.

Lewis was named to the Western Conference coaching staff for the second year in a row. Last year he served as the team’s assistant coach. The head coaches of the two teams that had the highest percentage of possible points through Thursday night’s games are named All-Star coaches. Colorado’s loss Thursday night moved Lewis (.648) ahead of Tony Granato (.638).

The final All-Star rosters will be announced on January 22. The All-Star Game will take place on February 8 from St. Paul, Minnesota.

Wings Can’t Crack Bruins

Boston rookie goalie Andrew Raycroft was most assuredly the star of this game. The Red Wings peppered him with shots and set up numerous scoring chances, but Raycroft always seemed to be right where he needed to be, and the bounces all went the Bruins’ way. Boston won the game 3-0.

Detroit outplayed Boston considerably in the first period, outshooting the Bruins 13 to 3. Raycroft was solid, making big saves on Pavel Datsyuk, Kris Draper, and Ray Whitney. The Bruins, unfortunately, scored on only their second shot of the game. Dan McGillis knocked the puck away from Brendan Shanahan at the blue line, then got it to Sergei Samsonov. Samsonov made a short pass to Joe Thornton, who faked to his left, then pulled the puck back to the right and put it between Curtis Joseph‘s skate and the goalpost.

Boston, having a lead, began to shut down the game at that. They played a skillful trap, and the Red Wings had a tough time breaking through the blue line to generate offensive chances. Meanwhile, Boston scored their second goal of the game on an odd bounce off the back boards. The Bruins won the faceoff in Detroit’s zone, and Jeff Jillson banked the puck behind the net. The puck bounced back off the side of the net and into the goal crease, and Travis Green was able to whack it into the net.

Mike Knuble topped off the scoring for the Bruins by taking a nice pass from Sean O’Donnell and bouncing it off Joseph and into the net.

The Red Wings tried even harder to pressure Raycroft after that, but he was steady, sliding all the way across the net to make a save against Brett Hull and stoning Henrik Zetterberg on a near-breakaway chance.

Raycroft made 35 saves for his second career shutout. Joseph made 23 saves on 26 shots. The Red Wings will soon have the chance to avenge their loss: these two teams will play the second game of their home and home series Saturday afternoon at the Fleet Center in Boston.

Dave Lewis is guaranteed to be either the head coach or assistant coach of the Western Conference All-Star Team in February. The jobs go to the head coaches whose teams have the highest and second-highest points percentage (points earned divided by points possible) after January 8. Whether Lewis goes as the head coach or the assistant depends now on whether Tony Granato and the Colorado Avalanche win or lose tomorrow night against Nashville.

It’s Official: Roy Retires

Patrick Roy, arguably the greatest goaltender of all time, called it quits Wednesday afternoon during a press conference at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

“I feel great about my decision,” Roy said Wednesday after announcing his retirement. “I really feel like I emptied the tank and I’m ready to move on. I step aside with no regrets.”

At 37 years old, Roy is still considered one of the league’s top netminders. He posted the a career-best regular-season just two years ago. However, he preferred to go out while he still was on top of his game.

“It’s always been important for me to play with consistency, but also leave on my own terms,” said Roy. “I think I’ve accomplished everything I wanted and I think I’ve done basically what I think I should.”

Roy said he made the decision to retire before the start of this NHL season. He made the announcement of his retirement a press conference attended by his wife and three children, as well as Avalanche coach Tony Granato and teammates Mike Keane, Joe Sakic and Brad Larsen.

Roy is a four-time Stanley Cup champion, twice with Montreal and twice with Colorado. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP three times and holds NHL records for wins and games played by a netminder.

I’ve had a blast. It’s been unbelievable. I’ve been so fortunate to have lived a dream and have fun for more than 18 years earning a living by playing a game I love,” said Roy, who alternated between speaking in English and French as he answered questions from both Denver and Montreal.

Roy spent the first ten years of his career with the Canadiens before he was traded to Colorado in the middle of his eleventh season. After eighteen years in the NHL, Roy has no immediate plans to take a management role for an NHL team but says he’s open to the idea. For now he plans on moving his family back to Quebec.

Pierre Lacroix, Avalanche general manager, announced that Roy’s No. 33 jersey will be retired by the Avalanche next season. It will be the second number retired by the Avs since their move to Denver from Quebec. Colorado retired Ray Bourque’s No. 77 during the 2001-2002 season.

One Goal Enough to Lift Avs over Wings

A lone first period goal by Avalanche forward Alex Tanguay was enough to give Colorado the win over Detroit Thursday in the first game of a home-and-home series between the bitter rivals.

Tanguay one-timed a bouncing puck past a scrambling Curtis Joseph with 2:10 left in the opening period. Rob Blake fired a shot that bounced off the back boards and out the other side of the goal, where Tanguay picked up the puck and flipped it into the net as Joseph dove across the crease.

The first period tally was the only goal of the game.

The blanking of Detroit was Colorado netminder Patrick Roy‘s sixty-fourth career shutout. He is now tied with Toronto goalie Ed Belfour for the lead among active goaltenders.

It was the third shutout for Roy in his last six games and the first time he had kept the Red Wings scoreless in his career.

“He’s been great,” Avalanche head coach Tony Granato said. “He’s a man on a mission to prove he’s the best; still the best.”

Brett Hull was held scoreless for the sixth-straight game. His next goal will be the seven hundredth of his career… Chris Chelios missed his sixth-straight game with a leg injury.

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