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Grand Haven native Bylsma joins Red Wings staff as assistant coach

Associated Press • Jun 23, 2018 at 12:15 AM

DETROIT — Dan Bylsma is returning to the state where he was born — and where he won the Stanley Cup as a visiting coach.

The Detroit Red Wings hired Bylsma as an assistant coach Friday. The 47-year-old Bylsma, a Grand Haven native, worked as an assistant alongside Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill at this year's world championship in Denmark, helping the United States to a bronze medal. Bylsma was Pittsburgh's coach when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009 by winning Game 7 of the final at Detroit.

"I've lived two lives in this aspect," Bylsma said. "The first 20 years of my life I was a Detroit Red Wings fan. For the next half of my life, I may not have been, but I've always had in the back of my mind that coming back home and working for the Red Wings and being a part of the Red Wing organization was something I wanted to do."

Bylsma is 320-190-55 as a head coach in the NHL. He took over the Penguins during that 2008-09 season and was with them until 2014. He also coached the Buffalo Sabres for two seasons from 2015-2017. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year in 2011.

Blashill has been Detroit's coach since 2015, when the Red Wings lost Mike Babcock to Toronto. Detroit missed the playoffs the past two seasons.

"I know that Dan will make a great impact on our team, and we're excited to add him to the bench," Blashill said in a statement. "His resume speaks for itself, including the Stanley Cup championship and Jack Adams Award. I also had the unique opportunity to work with Dan at this year's World Championship, and that experience leaves no doubt that Dan will bring innovative ideas and tremendous attention to detail to our coaching staff."

Bylsma replaced John Torchetti, whose contract was not renewed. Bylsma will be in charge of the forwards and the power play.

"He's got a very organized plan how he believes the power play should execute, how he believes the power play should be run," Blashill said. "He's always been real good on the faceoffs, and having a good plan on the faceoffs, and specifically on the power play. And honestly, that's something — I haven't been good enough."

As a player, Bylsma appeared in 429 NHL games with the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Mighty Ducks between 1995-04, picking up 62 points (19 goals, 43 assists) and 184 penalty minutes.

Bylsma graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1992 with a degree in accounting and played four seasons on the hockey team, where he was a two-time CCHA All-Academic Team member.

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