Red Wings extend Blashill amid prolonged rebuild

    Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill has been given a contract extension despite a losing record and missing the playoffs in five straight seasons.

Terms were not disclosed.

Blashill, 47, just completed his 10th season with the organization. He originally joined the Red Wings as an assistant coach for the 2011-12 season. He was hired as head coach after Mike Babcock left to take over the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015, and his tenure as head coach is the third-longest in the NHL.

He was previously given a two-year contract extension in April 2019, before general manager Steve Yzerman was hired in Detroit.

After the season, Blashill and Yzerman said they would discuss the coach’s future.

“I’ve been a Red Wing for a long time now. Certainly have enjoyed every second I’ve been part of this organization, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Blashill said at the time.

The Red Wings made the postseason in 2015-16, Blashill’s first year behind the bench. Detroit spent the next five seasons mired in a prolonged rebuild, posting the lowest points percentage in the NHL (.420) from 2016-17 to 2021. Blashill’s career record is 172-221-62.

The rebuild will continue under Blashill. The Red Wings have 11 picks in the first five rounds of the 2021 NHL draft.

Yzerman also announced that assistant coach Dan Bylsma “will pursue other NHL opportunities in 2021-22.” He was in charge of the team’s forwards and the power play, which ranked 30th (11.4%) in the NHL.

Bylsma won a Stanley Cup as head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 and also has served as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres.

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