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McCrimmon leaves Red Wings

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – Besides looking to fill some key roster spots this off-season, the Red Wings will also be looking to fill a vacancy created by the departure of assistant coach Brad McCrimmon.

McCrimmon finished his third season on coach Mike Babcock’s staff, but he’s decided to leave the organization to pursue other career opportunities.

“I’d like to thank Brad for his dedication and tremendous work in serving as an assistant coach for the Red Wings,” general manager Ken Holland said in a statement released Thursday morning. “We wish Brad and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”

McCrimmon, a former NHL defenseman with 18-seasons of playing experience, was responsible for overseeing the Red Wings’ defensive efforts. He had been brought in after the departure of Todd McLellan, who left Detroit for San Jose following the Wings’ Stanley Cup win in 2008.

Unfortunately, the Wings have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by McLellan’s Sharks in back-to-back Western Conference semifinals, including this year’s epic seven-game series.

The Wings’ 2.89 goals-against average this season was the highest of the 16 teams that qualified for the playoffs this spring.

Before rejoining the Red Wings, McCrimmon had served as an assistant coach with Atlanta (2003-07), Calgary (2000-03) and the New York Islanders (1997-99). He played three seasons for the Wings from 1990-93.

It’s likely that McCrimmon, 52, will be a viable candidate for a head coaching position in the NHL. Currently, there are openings in Atlanta, New Jersey, Minnesota, Ottawa and Florida. But it will all come down to the individual management philosophies of those clubs, and what they ultimately are looking for in a new coach.

1940-43 Ebbie Goodfellow
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2005-08 Paul MacLean, T. McLellan, J. Bedard & Jay Woodcroft
2008-11 P. MacLean, B. McCrimmon, J. Bedard & Keith McKittrick

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