The Athletic’s Shapiro reports that Todd Nelson will join Dallas as an assistant coach

Per The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro:

The Grand Rapids Griffins then Tweeted this:

Update: The Athletic’s Craig Custance confirms:

Ben Simon would be a logical replacement. He’s been vocal and visible as a strong assistant coach over the past couple of years.

Also, from the Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner:

Last year, he was a finalist for the position with the Arizona Coyotes after the Griffins won the Calder Cup.

Nelson, 48, has taken the Griffins to the playoffs all three seasons, going 22-11 with the AHL championship last season.

Add in his four full seasons with Oklahoma City and Nelson’s teams have made the playoffs eight consecutive seasons.

The one exception was in 2014-15 when he left the Barons to become interim coach with the Edmonton Oilers for his only taste of the NHL. He went 17-22-7 in 46 games.

He has a 309-189-16-47 (.607) regular-season record in seven-plus seasons as an AHL coach, including 133-78-4-13 (.621) with the Griffins.

Update: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan has weighed in:

Todd Nelson appears headed to the NHL.

The successful head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings’ minor league affiliate, will reportedly be named an assistant coach for the Dallas Stars.

Nelson didn’t respond to text messages Wednesday, but several reports out of Dallas indicated he will be named an assistant on new head coach Jim Montgomery’s staff.

Montgomery, who left the University of Denver, was named the Stars’ coach in early May.

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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.

18 thoughts on “The Athletic’s Shapiro reports that Todd Nelson will join Dallas as an assistant coach”

  1. Ahh man, this is very disappointing. I feel Nelson is a good coach and I think deserved a look given how poor Blashill has been. We’re supposed to be adding brains to our front office and not losing people.

    But good for Nelson. I hope he succeeds.

    1. Agreed it’s sad to lose Todd, but he had to see the writing on the wall. Blash will be around at least as long as KH, so he wasn’t getting promoted any time soon, even to an assistant, more than likely. Maybe he gets another look in Detroit when he’s had some seasoning in Dallas, and once the Wings have changed their brain trust. That is, assuming the coaching merry-go-round in Dallas doesn’t get him promoted sooner…

      1. I’m really interested to know whether:

        a) Nelson was offered an assistant job with Detroit and refused.
        b) Blashill wanted his own guys and didn’t really want Nelson on his staff. Blashill may have viewed him as a threat, particularly given his reputation in Grand Rapids, as well as Edmonton, as a coach that players absolutely love to play for.

        1. It’s been reported multiple times that the Red Wings and Blashill talked to Nelson about an assistant coach position. He decided to test the market.

          Per Custance
          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.”

          1. Thanks. So it sounds like Nelson turned Blashill down and opted to leave the organization. Too bad. But I don’t blame him.

          2. “I’m just looking for a move that might help me in the future.”

            In other words, he didn’t think any position in the Red Wings organ-uh-zation would help him in the future. That says a thing or two, eh?

          3. If you want to look at it that way sure. Maybe he feels like his best path to an NHL coaching gig is through Dallas, I mean they do tend have a new coach other year.

    1. I really don’t believe he was a Blashill JR. Not saying he would be a successful NHL coach but he definitely rolled his own dice. I don’t believe he buys into the group-think mentality of the Red Wings.

      1. Players loved Nelson. Everywhere he went. Not sure many love Blashill. Nelson seemed like a coach that could have a beer with guys, but then know when to be hard on them. I can’t imagine anyone on the team inviting Blashill out to the steakhouse. Haha.

      2. Blashill was a player’s coach, won at every level, players loved him, and worked with our prospects.

        It just all sounds so familiar to when Babs left. I fell into that trap myself.

        But I appreciate your rationale, Trant.

        1. I think Blashill lost his way. Tried so hard to be like Babs and then lost the room.

          1. I actually couldn’t agree more with this assessment.

            On the other side, his job is to win games. With this roster he has to put out a similar low event, defensive system like Babs did the last several years of his tenure. With the defense we have, the forwards end up having to be a second set of defense as well. Blash’s system in GR was a good system but he had the players to make it work. Not so much with the Wings

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