DETROIT (WOOD) — New Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Dan Bylsma, a Grand Haven native, was eying prospects at camp this week, looking for ways to get the team’s power play back on track.
Last season, Detroit lost 27 games by only one goal. A big reason was special teams: The Red Wings’ power play and penalty kill ranked near the bottom in the NHL.
Bylsma is tasked with fixing that.
“Special teams will be a big part of this team developing into a winning team and winning culture,” Bylsma told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday on the second day of the franchise’s camp for top prospects in Detroit, “They’ve got a lot of young players that are coming into the league, that have been in the league for a couple of years and are going to turn into great players in this league. The chance to grow with the team, get a better power play, get a few more wins and turn this team into the Detroit Red Wings that we know and love.”
Bylsma previously spent eight seasons as a head coach in the NHL, during which time he led the Pittsburgh Penguins to two Stanley Cup Final appearances and the title in 2009. He has also coached a U.S. Olympic hockey team. The Wings hired him last week to work under head coach Jeff Blashill.
“I’ve haven’t put on the winged wheel yet,” he told 24 Hour News 8. “I haven’t put on the hat or any paraphernalia. It’s going to be a little unique to put it on for the first time. My best moments in hockey, whether playing, coaching, obviously winning in ’09, is against the Red Wings and the winged wheel. So it’ll feel a little bit odd to put it on. But I’m truly excited about it. It’ll be a proud moment putting it on.”
==On Sports Overtime Sunday night, Bylsma talks one-on-one with 24 Hour News 8’s Larry Figurski about his return to Michigan.==