Detroit Red Wings: 5 Ex-Wings That Could Fill Vacated Assistant Coaching Slots

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Detroit Red Wings: 5 Ex-Wings That Could Fill Vacated Assistant Coaching Slots
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

As soon as the Red Wings were bounced out of the second round of the playoffs, the biggest question mark hanging over the team was whether or not Nicklas Lidstrom would retire.

One month removed from their Game 7 loss, that question still looms large in Detroit, but it has since been joined by a slew of others, the answers to which will immediately impact the team's future.

Who will replace Brian Rafalski on the blueline?

Will Kris Draper be offered another contract?

Who will be Jimmy Howard's back-up next season?

Added to the list of on-ice personnel uncertainties are now two large questions behind the bench - who will serve as Mike Babcock's assistant coaches next year?

Both Brad McCrimmon and Paul MacLean have left Detroit for head coaching jobs in the KHL and with the Ottawa Senators, respectively.

Though the possibility of their departure was clear, having to replace two thirds of his coaching staff along with several key player positions probably wasn't something GM Ken Holland was fully prepared for at season's end.

The list of possible replacements is impressive, as Ken Hitchcock, Craig MacTavish and Peter DeBoer are all former head coaches looking for full-time work this summer.

But with an equal number of head coaching vacancies in Minnesota, New Jersey and Winnipeg, their availability is far from certain.

While there are certainly many other candidates beyond former head coaches out there, considering a former Red Wing may be the best way for the organization to go.

Ken Holland and Co. are fond of keeping players in the fold and, in some cases, bringing them back in after a lengthy absence.

These moves have typically involved adding former players such as Chris Osgood and Dallas Drake back to the roster, however, looking at ex-Red Wings to fill the vacated coaching positions seems a likely move, and one worth making.

Indeed, both McCrimmon and MacLean were once Red Wings and while there's much to be said about the value of bringing in "new blood," bringing quality people back to the organization could be equally as successful.

If Holland and Babcock do find mining through old rosters for assistant coaching candidates a worthwhile exercise, they'd do well to highlight five names in particular.

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