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Blashill, Red Wings discussed coaching job: report

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Jeff Blashill, the leading candidate to replace Mike Babcock as coach of the Detroit Red Wings, met with general manager Ken Holland this week to discuss the job, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.

Holland said he is waiting until Blashill is done coaching the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League Calder Cup playoffs to name a coach.

"We're not going to announce anything until the playoffs are over, out of respect for Jeff and the players," Holland said.

Holland said he hasn't interviewed anyone but Blashill, 41.

"I've had some people reach out to me," Holland told Helene St. James, "but as of right now, I haven't expanded the list."

The Griffins are in the AHL Western Conference Finals; the best-of-7 series against the Utica Comets is tied 2-2 and resumes Sunday.

"I owe it to our players to make sure my sole focus is on trying to win this series," Blashill said Wednesday.

Blashill has been coach of Grand Rapids since June 2012 and has made the playoffs in each of the past three seasons, including winning the 2013 Calder Cup.

"It's not difficult for me, and that's why I choose not to comment right now because it's real easy for me to focus on the [playoffs]," Blashill said. "These are great, great opportunities. You only get so many of them in life. So let's really cherish this and enjoy the journey."

Babcock was hired to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 20.

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