Custance: Griffins coach Todd Nelson considering NHL assistant coaching jobs

According to The Athletic’s Craig Custance, Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson is “listening” to potential offers regarding assistant coaching jobs in the NHL:

The Grand Rapids coach won a Calder Cup last year with the Griffins. His team made the playoffs again this season and now, according to NHL sources, multiple NHL teams have reached out to him about the possibility of taking an assistant coaching job with their clubs. It’s believed the Dallas Stars and at least one other Western Conference team have expressed interest. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill has also talked to Nelson about the assistant coach opening in Detroit, following the departure of John Torchetti.

“Right now, I’m in a good spot,” Nelson told The Athletic when reached on Tuesday. “I’m just looking for a move that might help me in the future. That’s why I’m entertaining some possible opportunities. Nothing is concrete at all. Right now, it’s one of those things where there are conversations and I’ve got to see if something comes out of it.”

Nelson, who became Griffins head coach in June 2015, has term left on his contract but confirmed the Red Wings gave him the green light to talk to other teams. Nelson has NHL bench experience with the Atlanta Thrashers and Edmonton Oilers and is weighing whether another assistant job is the best option for him moving forward.

“By no means am I unhappy in Grand Rapids,” Nelson said. “I just want to see what the next step might present.”

Custance continues, speaking with Joe Hicketts regarding Nelson’s innovative coaching methods…

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

4 thoughts on “Custance: Griffins coach Todd Nelson considering NHL assistant coaching jobs”

  1. It’s insane that we haven’t fired Blashill and given Nelson an audition. Hope he stays.

    On the topic of front office/coaching…Kenny did admit that adding more brains to the front office was a goal. Now that Dubas and Fenton are taken, I’d like to see us offer Mark Hunter a blank cheque. You’re hired as AssocGM and will run the draft. Please clean house with our scouts. Then after 2 years you take over as GM. Much better succession plan than Draper/Martin. Time to act is now!

  2. At this point, I think changing the coach would be a lateral move due to the overall lack of talent on the roster. I don’t think Nelson could get much more out of this cast of players. By no means do I agree with everything Blashill does but a lot of it is driven by having a bad mix of players. Of course my view on this could change over the next year or 2 if some of the younger players don’t start progressing.

    I completely agree with going after Hunter. A couple years as an assistant GM then plug him in as the GM.

    1. Would love to see someone in the media ask Kenny a direct question like that. You stated a goal to add talent to the front office. We just watched other organizations snap up Dubas, Fenton, Lou…did you approach any of them? Now Hunter has parted ways with Toronto. His family lives close to Detroit. He’s exceptional at drafting. Have you approached him? Why not?

  3. I remember once when another coach was having a lot of success with the Griffins…..

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