With all the speculation of Babcock's time coming to an end in Detroit, Jeff Blashill has become a very intriguing prospect.
Blashill began his coaching career in 1999 as an assistant for his alma mater Ferris State, where he played goalie for four years during his college career. At FSU he played a major role in recruiting and developing the 2002-03 CCHA Championship team.
After three seasons at Ferris he joined Miami University in 2002 as an assistant coach. In Miami Jeff was part of four NCAA Tournament teams, including the 2005-2006 CCHA Championship team and the 2006-07 and 2007-08 Elite Eight teams. Blashill excelled while recruiting in Miami: recruiting three Hobey Baker Finalists, four CCHA All-Rookies and 11 first or second team All-CCHA players. By this time it was obvious Blashill had a keen eye for young talent.
In 2008, after six successful years as an assistant in Miami, Blashill was named head coach and general manager of the USHL's Indiana Ice. In his first year at Indiana he lead the Ice to their most successful regular season in program history and the Clark Cup (USHL Championship). In his second year, he lead the team back to the USHL semi-finals. He was then named head coach the Western Michigan Broncos in 2010.
In his first year as a head coach in the CCHA, he lead the Western Michigan Broncos to a top-four finish, the CCHA Championship Game and the 2011 NCAA Men's Division 1 Ice Hockey Tournament - WMU's most successful season in 15 years. He was named the USCHO Coach of the Year, Inside College Hockey Coach of the Year, and College Hockey News Coach of the Year.
As we all are aware the following year he was invited by Babcock to join Detroit as an assistant coach in 2011-2012. He enjoyed a pretty successful first season in the NHL, reaching the playoffs while enjoying a 23-game home winning streak. Keep in mind there were no tremendous improvements to Detroit's special teams. After the season, Blashill was named the Grand Rapids Griffins head coach overtaking Curt Fraser.
Jeff has enjoyed a tremendously successful first season with the Griffins. Leading the team to its first playoff berth in years (42-26-4) as the three seed. We've seen tremendous development from many Griffins' players including Tomas Tatar, Landon Ferraro, Mitch Callahan, Tomas Jurco, Luke Glendening and others. The Griffins are now a strong case to contend for the Calder Cup.
Some of Blashill's accomplishments (http://www.wmubroncos.com/ViewArticl...ID=204923680):
- Led WMU to a 19-13-10 (10-9-9, CCHA) record in first season.
- Named National Coach of the Year by College Hockey News, USCHO.com and Inside College Hockey (2010-11).
- Led WMU to CCHA Championship game appearance, the program's first since 1986 (2011).
- Led WMU to a NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996 (2011).
- Finalisy for CCHA Coach of the Year (2011).
- Head coach and general manager of the USHL's Indiana Ice.
- 72-43-5 record in two season.
- Won the "Clark Cup" as league champion on his first season as head coach
- Six seasons as assistant coach with the Miami University RedHawks.
- Won a CCHA Championship with Miami during the 2005-06 team
- Recruited three Hobey Baker Finalists, four CCHA All-Rookie Team members, 11 first or second team All-CCHA members, six All-Americans, two World Junior Championship participants.
- Was part of four NCAA Tournament teams while at Miami, including the 2006-07 and 2007-08 Elite Eight teams.
- Played a major role in recruiting and developing the Miami 2009 NCAA Finalist team.
- Four seasons as assistant coach at Ferris State.
- Played a major role in recruiting and developing the 2002-03 Ferris State CCHA Championship team.
- Assistant coach of the World Junior A Challenge Team; Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada (2009)
- Assistant coach of the World Junior Team; IIHF World Junior Tournament, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (2009)
- Assistant coach U-18 team; Ivan Hlinka Memorial World Championships, Czech Republic (2006)
- Head coach Team Michigan; U-17 & U-18 National Festival (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005)
Jeff Blashill has a really tremendous résumé, especially since 2008. He's known for being great with the kids and seems to be the perfect fit for a transitioning team. He's coached under many tremendous hockey minds, including Babcock. Is he making a case to take over Detroit once Babcock leaves?