Wings hire Cup-winning coach as assistant to fix power play
Dan Bylsma, above, a Grand Haven native, has “a very organized plan as to how he believes a power play should be run,” says Wings head coach Jeff Blashill.
The Red Wings’ power play has struggled the past two seasons. Now Dan Bylsma will be in charge of fixing it.
Bylsma, a native of Grand Haven and a veteran Stanley Cup-winning NHL head coach, was hired as an assistant coach by Detroit on Friday with the power play one of his main responsibilities.
“He’s got a very organized plan as to how he believes a power play should be run, having a multiple number of breakouts to be able to utilize,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said on www.mlive.com. “Dan’s an excellent face-off-play guy on the power play. That’s something that I haven’t been good enough at.
“Certainly, we’re not going to go from ranking in the 20’s to ranking in the top 10 without a number of players executing at a real high level.”
The team’s power play was 24th in the NHL last season and 27th the year before.
Bylsma, 47, was the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins for six seasons, beating the Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup in 2009. He was also head coach of the Buffalo Sabres for two seasons.
Bylsma was an assistant under Blashill with Team USA, which won a bronze medal at the World Championships in May.
He is happy to be returning to Michigan.
“The first 20 years of my life, I was a Detroit Red Wings fan, and for the next half of my life, I may not have been,” Bylsma said. “But I’ve always had in the back of my mind that coming back home and working for the Red Wings and being part of the Red Wings organization is something I wanted to do.”
Bylsma played 429 NHL games from 1995-2004 with the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Mighty Ducks after playing four years at Bowling Green in the old Central Collegiate Hockey Association.