A couple of thoughts on Todd Nelson’s departure

Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson’s decision to move on after three years as the Griffins’ bench boss wasn’t surprising, but it did leave some fans scratching their heads.

At 49, Nelson told the Grand Rapids media that he “had to go” back to the NHL to further his hopes of landing a head coaching job in the NHL at some point in the future, and as Nelson had won a pair of Calder Cup championships, there really was nothing more for Nelson to prove at the AHL level.

More than a few Wings fans were dissatisfied with Nelson’s move not because he chose to move onward and upward, but because he didn’t end up flanking Jeff Blashill’s shoulder as the person filling the assistant coach’s spot vacated by John Torchetti. That means that Wings fans are angry (though it takes nothing more than a sneeze from the management group to piss off a Wings fan these days).

As far as I can tell:

Continue reading A couple of thoughts on Todd Nelson’s departure

Centre ICE Arena still crowdfunding rink renovations

Centre ICE Arena posted a Tweet encouraging Red Wings fans to lend a hand as the facility attempts to crowdfund the rink renovations necessary to continue holding training camp in Traverse City. Spread the word!


A pair of Wings-related articles from The Athletic: A bad fourth line and a Dobson/Bouchard comparison

Of Red Wings-related note from The Athletic this morning:

1. The Athletic’s Tyler Dellow penned a list of the 12 NHL lines that had the worst goal differential, and it’s not surprising to read that the Red Wings’ various combinations of fourth-line forwards struggled:

5. Detroit Red Wings, Line 4 (-20.4 goal difference). Key members: Luke Glendening, Martin Frk, Frans Nielsen, Darren Helm, Andreas Athanasiou, Justin Abdelkader, David Booth

It’s hard for a team to bury itself with a fourth line but Detroit managed to do it. Detroit’s -20.4 goal difference from the fourth line was nearly double the league’s next worst fourth line, Pittsburgh at -10.5. It got outshot by more than 10 shots an hour. Unsurprisingly, there are some percentages at play here – Detroit had an .881 save percentage with the fourth line on the ice and the shooting percentage was bad to boot – but they were just overwhelmed in terms of possession too.

Continue reading A pair of Wings-related articles from The Athletic: A bad fourth line and a Dobson/Bouchard comparison

Wallner: Ryan Martin ready to find Griffins’ next coach

The Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner spoke with Red Wings assistant GM and Grand Rapids Griffins GM Ryan Martin regarding the next steps that the Wings will take in order to find Todd Nelson’s successor:

“We will certainly look first inside the organization,” he said Thursday. “This is my 14th year with Detroit and I don’t know if we’ve ever been in a position to promote someone from within – Jeff Blashill was, obviously, a different type of hire. Whenever we’ve had an opening at this level it’s most immediately that we go outside the organization first.”

He said Griffins assistants Ben Simon and Bruce Ramsay have expressed interest.

Martin also noted a trend to college coaches and away from NHL assistants:

“I think the NCAA pipeline is just a different dynamic than it was and frankly, I don’t think there are as many NHL assistant coaches that are doing that (go down to AHL to be a head coach),” he said. “I think part of that is opportunities in the NHL seem to be more plentiful. Staffs are getting bigger and so that just has not been the trend lately.”

Wallner continues

Regner on Tom McCollum’s (last?) season with Grand Rapids

DetroitRedWings.com’s Arthur J. Regner examines Tom McCollum’s 2017-18 season, and Wings goaltending development coach Brian Mahoney-Wilson praises McCollum’s efforts to stabilize the Grand Rapids Griffins’ crease while Jared Coreau was in Detroit:

Quotable: “Last season he came off the summertime with a lower-body injury, so for Tom it took him a good month to get into goalie shape and finally got his wheels going in November and by that time once December rolled around, he became the winningest goalie in Grand Rapids Griffins history. Once Jared Coreau went up (to Detroit) he established himself again as the No. 1 with Matej Machovsky coming up from Toledo. Actually, in his last 25 games, including the playoffs, he went 17 wins and eight losses with over a .927 save percentage.

So for Tommy, he ended the year high and going forward whether he’s with Grand Rapids or another organization, he gave it what he had to solidify another contract next year. The reality within our organization is we have a lot of young prospects and maybe one in Kaden Fulcher who may be ready to turn into the pro ranks, but we’re going to, consistently as a growing organization that wants to get younger in the crease, we’re going to look at younger prospects to fill that role. For Tom, it’s still a negotiation process come July 1 with the Detroit Red Wings and other organizations, because he is an unrestricted free agent and so is Jared Coreau. It’s going to be an interesting process for those two and we’ll see happens when that time comes.” – Brian Mahoney-Wilson, Detroit’s goaltending development coach

Regner continues

Two Things, radio version: a pair of interviews with Todd Nelson

Former Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson gave two radio interviews on Thursday afternoon, speaking with ESPN 96.1 FM’s “Big Drew & Jim“…

Listen to “Todd Nelson – Former Grand Rapids Griffins Head Coach/New Dallas Stars Assistant Coach (5/31/18)” on Spreaker.

And TSN 1260 Edmonton’s Jason Gregor spoke with Nelson and TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, with Nelson appearing at the 20-minute mark of Gregor’s show: