Jeff Blashill was attempting to take Seth Appert's job when the two first met in 1994. Both were goaltenders at Ferris State University, Appert a junior and Blashill a freshman.
It was a competitive situation, yet it spawned a close friendship that lasts to this day.
"Seth took me under his wing, for sure, in those early days and definitely, I think it speaks to the character he had," Blashill said. "Here's a direct competitor for the position that he wants, and he embraced me. Again, I've always felt like that speaks to the type of person he is."
Blashill, now the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings, could see coaching qualities in Appert even back then. Appert joined on as a graduate coach at Ferris State, then won two national championships as an assistant at the University of Denver. His first head coaching gig came at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he spent 11 seasons before joining the US National Team Development Program in 2017.
During that time, Blashill recruited Appert to be an assistant for Team USA at back-to-back IIHF World Championships. Seeing how Appert interacted with some of the world's best players is one of the reasons Blashill believes his friend his well-suited for his new job as coach of the Rochester Americans.