Detroit — Jeff Blashill is returning to coach the Red Wings.
The team announced Tuesday they will bring back Blashill, 47, for a seventh season.
General manager Steve Yzerman said in a press release that Blashill has agreed to a contract extension — the length was not announced — and that assistant coach Dan Bylsma will not return next season.
Blashill has coached the Wings for the last six seasons, missing the playoffs the last five years. Blashill has a lifetime record of 172-221-62, and is the third-longest tenured current NHL head coach, while presiding over a difficult Wings’ rebuild.
The Wings finished seventh in the eight-team Central Division with a 19-27-10 record. After a ragged 4-12-3 start, as COVID-19 decimated a lineup missing five regulars, the Wings finished 15-15-7 in their last 37 games.
After finishing last in the NHL a season ago, the Wings made noticeable improvement this shortened 56-game season.
“We were a much improved hockey team from a season ago, both in how we play the game and our habits and structure,” Blashill said after the season finale, a 5-4 shootout loss in Columbus. “Especially down the stretch, with a number of young players being thrust into significant roles, it’s not even comparable (to last season).
“In terms of the arc of the organization, it’s starting to head in the right direction. Last year was a bad year for sure, and this year, again for me, it was totally different.”
This is a developing story. Check back at detroitnews.com for more updates.
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