Jeff Blashill has yet to coach a game in the NHL, but he's already earned praise from several Detroit Red Wings, including forward Riley Sheahan.
"I think we're all really happy," Sheahan told the Red Wings website Monday. "You can see the job that he's done in Grand Rapids (the Red Wings' American Hockey League affiliate) and so many of us have played there and played with him, especially the Calder Cup team. He's had so much success everywhere that he's gone, so I think all of the guys are pretty happy."
Blashill, 41, was named coach of the Red Wings on June 9 after Mike Babcock became coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 20. Blashill coached Grand Rapids the past three seasons and won the Calder Cup in 2013. Sheahan was on that team with several other current Red Wings, including forwards Luke Glendening, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Tomas Jurco, defenseman Danny DeKeyser and goalie Petr Mrazek.
"The guys that played with him before know how [Blashill] reacts to different situations and know what he expects," Sheahan said. "I think in that way some guys will be a little bit more confident, which always helps. It's definitely a good thing."
Sheahan is looking forward to playing with forward Brad Richards and defenseman Mike Green, who signed with the Red Wings as free agents this offseason.
"They're both amazing players," Sheahan said. "Obviously, Richards playing on the Stanley Cup team [with the Chicago Blackhawks] knows what it takes to get there. Green is a great defenseman. Don't know them personally, but I've heard that they're great guys, and obviously they bring some veteran experience to our team."