Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blashill finalist for Red Wings vacancy

Jeff Blashill
(WMU photo)
Former Ice coach Jeff Blashill could be the team's latest NHL promotion.

After a successful two-year stint as the Ice's head coach from 2008-10 -- which included the Clark Cup in his first year -- Blashill led Western Michigan to the CCHA title game and also to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 15 years this past season.

He confirmed to the Kalamazoo Gazette that he has interviewed for a vacant assistant coaching position with the Detroit Red Wings, where he would assist coach Mike Babcock.

Said Blashill to the Gazette's Graham Couch: "I love Western Michigan. This is a special place in college hockey. ... But obviously it's the NHL and the Red Wings are what they are."

Blashill expects to hear from the Wings by the end of the week.

The Ferris State University grad assisted Bob Daniels at his alma mater and also assisted Enrico Blasi at Miami (Ohio) from 1999-2008. Miami made four NCAA Tournament appearances during his stint as an assistant. In two seasons with the Ice, his teams posted a 72-43-5 record and won the 2009 Clark Cup. WMU went 19-13-10 this past season -- the program's first winning season since 2002 -- and finished fourth in the CCHA.

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