Nicklas Lidstrom's final season in the NHL was Jeff Blashill's first.
It was 2011-12, and Blashill started the season as a 37-year-old first-time NHL assistant coach to Mike Babcock tasked with working with the Detroit Red Wings forwards. Blashill finished it as a 38-year-old ready to coach his own team in the American Hockey League.
"He did have some ideas on the power play and looking at different things we can work at, but he came in kind of on the learning curve as well, trying to get familiarized with the team and the NHL, what it's like to be part of the NHL," said Lidstrom, the former Red Wings captain.
"It was a good learning experience for him to get that one year in before being in charge at Grand Rapids."
Blashill on Tuesday became Babcock's successor as coach of the Red Wings.