Report: Jeff Halpern has “Inside Track” for Red Wings Head Coaching Vacancy

Photo: NBC

With the Stanley Cup Finals coming to a close, there’s an expected influx of off-season news, especially surrounding the various head coaching vacancies across the NHL. With Steve Yzerman’s connection to the Tampa Bay Lightning and the lack of reporting surrounding the Red Wings’ head coaching vacancy, there seemed to be a few candidates that the Red Wings were waiting to interview.

On Friday afternoon, NHL insider Andy Strickland tweeted that Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern has an “inside track” for the Red Wings’ head coaching vacancy.

The 46-year-old appeared in 976 games in his 14-year career, suiting up for seven teams (WSH, DAL, TBL, LAK, MTL, NYR, ARZ), scoring 152 goals and 373 points. Halpern joined the Tampa Bay organization in 2015 and served as a development coach for the Syracuse Crunch.

The following season, Halpern would be promoted to assistant coach under Benoit Groulx, spending two seasons in that role. Ahead of the 2018-19 season, Halpern would be promoted to the NHL as an assistant coach under Jon Cooper, replacing Rick Bowness. In his four seasons running the power-play, the Lightning had a top-ten power-play percentage in the NHL, averaging over 24 percent in the regular season in that span. Halpern has a unique perspective not many NHL coaches have, as he recently played in the NHL and knows how current players approach the game. Halpern’s quick rise up the coaching ranks and Stanley Cup success make him an intriguing candidate for a young team like Detroit.

Besides Detroit, Boston and Winnipeg are also searching for their next head coach. While, as of Sunday, the Tampa Bay Lightning are about to fight for their aspirations of a three-peat, it is unclear whether or not Halpern has had an official interview. In his end-of-season media availability, Steve Yzerman said it was vital that he had familiarity with his next head coach. Yzerman promoted Halpern in Tampa Bay; does he hire him in Detroit?

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