Yzerman has intriguing list of candidates for Red Wings coaching search

Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News on

Published in Hockey

DETROIT — Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has choices, that's for sure.

In his search for a head coach to replace Jeff Blashill, Yzerman has a long, long list of available candidates. Be it from the NHL, the minor leagues, the NCAA or Europe.

There are plenty of available candidates — many of them with impressive, winning resumes, and strengths that would appear to fit what Yzerman is looking for.

Yzerman is looking for a candidate who can push the Wings, demand accountability and make the Wings play better defensively.

There is no timeline for Yzerman to name a new coach. Yzerman mentioned in his end-of-season press availability — while also announcing Jeff Blashill would not be retained — that he'd like to have a coach in place around the Stanley Cup Finals (mid-June), but it wasn't mandatory.

Who are some of the leading candidates that are available, or have become available after being let go by other teams?

It has become a lengthier list in the days since Blashill's dismissal.

Candidates are in alphabetical order:

Mike Babcock


— Pros: Yzerman has successfully worked with Babcock, and Babcock's hard-driving style and demand for accountability are what the Wings are looking for. Babcock has likely learned from his stop in Toronto, and he remains popular among a segment of Wings fans. Babock has won a Stanley Cup here, too.

— Cons: Babcock's bullying revelations in Toronto, and before that with the Wings, still remain attached. At age 59, Babcock might not be in a mood for a rebuilding job. Babcock has one more year on his former Toronto contract at $5 million and may wait to find the perfect landing spot. The Wings may, or may not, be that.

Spencer Carbery

— Pros: Carbery, 40, has been successful at every level he's coached in the minor leagues and is currently an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Carbery was in charge of the Leafs' successful power play, and has been praised for his communicative skills.

— Cons: Carbery doesn't have much NHL coaching experience, and for that matter, only four years in the AHL. Could be a big payoff, but the lack of NHL experience is somewhat worrisome.

David Carle

— Pros: Carle coached Denver to the NCAA championship this season, and two Frozen Fours in the past four seasons. Carle has three Wings draft picks on his current roster, the development staff is extremely familiar with him, and is a great tactician.

— Cons: Carle is only 32, and has only been a head coach for four years (assistant at Denver four years prior). It would seem like too little experience for a position like head coach of the Red Wings.

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