DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the team has hired Jeff Salajko as goaltending coach.
Salajko, 41, has served as goaltending development coach for the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins since the 2013-14 campaign. Under his watch, the Griffins had one of the AHL’s top goaltending tandems in 2015-16, with two goaltenders finishing top-10 in both goals-against average (Tom McCollum, 9th; Jared Coreau, 10th) and save percentage (McCollum, 3rd; Coreau, T4th). Prior to his time in Grand Rapids, Salajko spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio State University (2008-11), focusing on goaltender development, one season as an assistant coach for the Ohio Blue Jackets’ junior teams (2011-12) and one season as goaltending coach for Ohio State’s women’s ice hockey club (2013-14).
The Kitchener, Ontario, native was originally a 10th-round pick (236th overall) of the San Jose Sharks in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft and enjoyed an eight-season professional playing career, seeing action with 11 different teams in four leagues. Salajko suited up for the AHL’s Portland Pirates and Manitoba Moose (who he also represented in the IHL), the IHL’s Indianapolis Ice and Kansas City Blades, the ECHL’s Columbus Chill, Arkansas RiverBlades, Reading Royals, Peoria Rivermen and Charlotte Checkers, and he had brief stints with the CHL’s Wichita Thunder and ACHL’s Jacksonville Barracudas before retiring prior to the 2003-04 season. He compiled a 148-125-31 record and 12 shutouts over his 323-game pro career.