GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — First-year Red Wings head coach and former Tampa Bay assistant Derek Lalonde is the latest to join the Big Rapids to Detroit pipeline.

He got his start coaching at Ferris State University where he replaced former Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill. 

Lalonde coached at Ferris State for five seasons, helping the team to their winningest record in program history during the 2002-03 campaign. He worked under current and longtime head coach Bob Daniels, who is the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State history. 

For the full conversation with Bob Daniels, watch the video in the player below.

Daniels says Lalonde is a perfect fit for Detroit and a true players’ coach. 

“The thing that gets lost at times is that the players — whether they’re in college or the national hockey league — is they all come from a background of some sort of family,” Daniels said. “That’s the most critical component to anybody. When things are good at home or your life’s going well, you’re going to play better. And Derek’s cognizant of that and it actually goes more than being cognizant truly cares, and I think that’s really going to stand out when he starts communicating with the Red Wing players.”