Blashill earns coaching award four seasons after stint with Indiana Ice
The American Hockey League has named Jeff Blashill of the Grand Rapids Griffins the AHL Most Outstanding Coach for the 2013-14 season.
It is the second season in Grand Rapids for Blashill and he has led the Griffins to the second best record in the AHL Western Conference with a 46-22-2-4 mark (98 points). His team ranks second in the league defensively, allowing 2.42 goals per game, and seventh overall offensively, averaging 3.15 goals per contest. As the affiliate and primary development team for the Detroit Red Wings, 18 of the players who have suited up for Blashill this season have been called up to play in the NHL with Detroit, totaling 391 games. Two of the players on the Griffins squad competed against Blashill in the USHL – Nick Jensen (Green Bay Gamblers, 2008-10) and Jared Coreau (Lincoln Stars, 2009-10).
Blashill led the Griffins to the AHL championship, the Calder Cup, last season in his first year with the club. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings for the 2011-12 season and head coach at Western Michigan University for the 2010-11 season.
Blashill spent two seasons behind the bench as head coach of the Indiana Ice (2008-10). In his first year, he led the Ice to a then-record 39 victories and guided them to the Clark Cup title, the first in team history. Over his two-year stint with the Ice, he compiled a 72-43-5 regular season record and a 13-9 mark in the playoffs.
Seven players that competed for Blashill in the USHL would go on to be selected in the NHL Draft – Anthony Bitetto, Mike Cichy, Blake Coleman, Brian Ferlin, Stanislav Galiev, Sean Kuraly and Nick Mattson – in addition to defenseman Torey Krug who signed a NHL free agent contract and is now full-time member of the Boston Bruins. Nearly every member of the Ice that played for Blashill would earn NCAA hockey opportunities.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14. A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
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