ON TODAY’S PODCAST: Episode 70
Ted Kulfan previews next week’s NHL draft lottery with the odds of the Red Wings selecting Shane Wright, updates the coaching search to replace Jeff Blashill and Saginaw Spirit GM Dave Drinkill is the interview guest to talk about Michael Misa, the 15-year-old center who was granted ‘exceptional status’ to join the OHL this year.
More: How Logan Cooley could accelerate Red Wings’ rebuild
More:Improved Red Wings unlikely to win Shane Wright Sweepstakes
The Wings’ odds of moving up to one of the first two picks in Tuesday’s draft (6:30 p.m., ESPN) is 12%. The top two rated players are centers Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs and Logan Cooley of the National Team Development Program.
“That would be a dramatic infusion of talent into the organization,” Kulfan said on the podcast. “They haven’t had much luck in the lottery but they’ve been fortunate in the four, five and six range, adding people like Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider and Simon Edvinsson. You can find good, premiere talent in that top 10.”
►On parting ways with coach Jeff Blashill
“We all saw the handwriting on the wall. It was exactly as Yzerman said. They had plateaued, and regressed with and without the puck. I wasn’t surprised. It was just time for a new voice. I bet you deep down, Jeff Blashill understood that too.”
►On Blashill’s NHL future
“Going forward, I do believe he’s an NHL coach but I’m not sure he’s going to get a job here in this particular cycle. He’s definitely shown he’s a good communicator. The won-loss record (204-261-76) is attached to him but you have to understand this organization was deep, deep into rebuild and I thought he handled himself and his squad vey well. As Yzerman said, this wasn’t some kind of sideshow or anything like that.”
►On Blashills’s replacement
“The way he’s (Steve Yzerman) been dropping hints, the new coach is going to be more of a taskmaster than a players-first coach. I think it’s going to be a guy who’s going to push them and drive them. There’s been a lot of traction already about the Tampa minor league coach Benoit Groulx and Lane Lambert but Lambert has been a career No. 2 man to Barry Trotz and you wonder if he’ll be a head coach after all these years.”
►On Mike Babcock as candidate
“He’s the one guy I keep going back to and I understand it’s a very, very slim chance, maybe 5 or 10 percent at most but you do wonder about Mike Babcock. They worked together in the past, coach and player, coach and general manger. I doubt it’s going to happen because there’s so much bagging surrounding Babcock from the Toronto days but he’s exactly what they want and what they need. He’s a proven winner.”
Here are other highlights from this episode of OctoPulse, Taking the Pulse of the Red Wings’ rebuild after Year 3 of Yzerman’s regime.
►1:50: NHL draft lottery odds
►2:30: Steve Yzerman on Jeff Blashill
►4:40: Blashill’s coaching future
►5:50: Yzerman on criteria for new coach
►9:00: Mike Babcock’s chances of returning to Detroit
►10:00: Dave Drinkill interview
More: Michael Misa introductory news conference
►25:20: Dylan Larkin on second-half collapse
►29:00: Playoffs “a longshot” next year
►32:10: First-round playoff predictions
Ted’s first-round predictions
►In the East, Boston (6), Pittsburgh (6), Florida (6), Tampa Bay (7).
►In the West, Colorado (5), Minnesota (7), Calgary (6), Edmonton (6).