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Red Wings give extension to AHL coach Blashill @NHLdotcom

The Detroit Red Wings and Grand Rapids coach Jeff Blashill agreed to a three-year contract, which will run through the 2016-17 season, the NHL team announced Wednesday.

Blashill had one year left on his contract. Detroit general manager Ken Holland said he denied permission to NHL teams to speak to the 40-year-old about coaching vacancies, the Red Wings website reported.

"He's a very important person in our organization because we are in the process of trying to transition to some of the younger players that we have," Holland said. "... We are thrilled with the job that he has done from a competitive standpoint, from a development standpoint. ...

"I think his feeling is that he can use another year or two, certainly one more year, to continue developing as a coach, and we'll see what happens next summer."

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has one year remaining on his contract. Holland told the website there was some discussion of an extension this week at scouting meetings but nothing was settled.

"We talked a little bit briefly and now he's gone with his wife on a vacation for 10 days," Holland said. "So I'll see him at the draft (June 27)."

Blashill joined Babcock's staff prior to the 2011-12 season. He moved to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League the next season.

"I'm excited to continue to grow within the organization and to continue to have an opportunity in my role as head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins," Blashill said. "It's been a great learning experience for me, it's been a great life experience and I've really enjoyed helping our young Red Wings prospects develop while trying to win championships with the Griffins."

Grand Rapids won the Calder Cup in 2012-13 and this season Blashill was named the outstanding coach in the AHL. He has a two-season record of 88-49-6-9.

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