Red Wings extend coach Jeff Blashill's contract for 2 more seasons

Red Wings management still has faith in Jeff Blashill even as the team’s playoff drought continues. 

Detroit on Tuesday made official a previously reported two-year contract extension for its coach, even as the team is set to miss the playoffs for the third time in his four years at the helm. 

“Jeff has done a tremendous job developing our young talent as we continue to rebuild our organization,” Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Ken Holland said in a release. “Our young players have made significant strides during his time as head coach and are playing important minutes in key situations.

“As we continue to build towards the future, we have the utmost confidence that Jeff is the coach best suited to help our prospects become impactful NHL players. He has gained valuable experience as an NHL coach in each of his four years in Detroit and has instilled a work ethic in our current team that makes us hard to play against every night and competitive in every game, which is the identity we want our team to have as we move forward.”

Blashill, a Detroit native, replaced Mike Babcock in June of 2015 amid high expectations. He was regarded as one of the game’s top young coaching minds after a successful three-year stint with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. 

The Red Wings made the playoffs in his first season, falling to the Lightning in the opening round, but missed out the last two years and are set to do so again as this season wraps up. The three-year playoff drought — after Detroit had made the playoffs 25 consecutive seasons — will be the franchise’s longest since it missed out five straight years from 1979-83. 

Detroit is 135-143-47 under Blashill entering Tuesday’s game against the Penguins.