Breaking: Red Wings Name Derek Lalonde Head Coach

Photo: The Athletic

The Detroit Red Wings announced Thursday evening that they had hired Derek Lalonde as the next head coach. 

Lalonde becomes the 28th Red Wings head coach in franchise history and is again hired by Steve Yzerman. As soon as the Tampa Bay Lightning lost in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final, it seemed that all eyes were on the Red Wings to hire one of the two Tampa Bay assistants (Derek Lalonde and Jeff Halpern). 

Reports early this week from ESPN insider, Kevin Weekes, indicated that the tides were shifting in Lalonde’s direction as he was reportedly spotted in Detroit on Tuesday.

Lalonde has been a consistent riser over the years, starting as an assistant coach at North Adams State College to eventually getting his feet wet as a head coach/ general manager with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. Lalonde would begin his climb up the pro ranks, with stops in Toledo of the ECHL and the Iowa Wild before being hired as an assistant coach under Jon Cooper in Tampa Bay.

Lalonde has been a vital part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s success since being hired in 2018, as they have been one of the league’s best defensive teams in that span, finishing top-ten in goals-against three out of the four years. In his end-of-the-season media availability, Yzerman stressed the importance of bringing in a coach with whom he is familiar and who will improve the Red Wings’ overall team defense, which Lalonde checks both boxes.

Now all eyes point to what Lalonde will do with this young Detroit roster and if he can take them to the next level. Maybe Lalonde will be joined by his old Tampa assistant Jeff Halpern in Detroit, as Kevin Weekes tweeted that being a possibility Wednesday night.

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