Red Wings assistants will be named Tuesday

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill finally will have his assistants for next season set.

General manager Ken Holland said he will name two assistants Tuesday — likely Tony Granato and Chris Chelios — and hopes to add another at a later date.

Granato was an assistant under Mike Babcock last season, and interviewed with Babcock in Toronto. But after declining the option year on his contract, Granato and the Red Wings apparently have worked out a long-term contract.

As for Chelios, a former Red Wings defenseman, he likely will have a role similar to the one he had at Grand Rapids under Blashill the last three seasons — working with the defensemen. Chelios also was named an assistant with the U.S. national junior team.

In limbo

Holland has not talked with forward Daniel Cleary or defenseman Marek Zidlicky, both potential unrestricted free agents.

Cleary, who had two points (one goal) in 17 games last season, turned down three-year contracts three years ago from other teams to remain with the Red Wings for a lower salary.

With with another season of little playing time likely — there are several young prospects ahead of him — Cleary might pursue other opportunities or accept a coaching role similar to what Chelios had in Grand Rapids.

Zidlicky also is facing a tough battle to return with a deep corps of defensemen.

In addition to several veterans — Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Danny DeKeyser, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl — Zidlicky also faces a crop of young talent itching to reach the NHL.

Holland has said one spot will go to either Alexey Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet, Nick Jensen or Ryan Sproul.

... Holland was named as assistant general manager for Canada for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Doug Armstrong (St. Louis) is executive director of Team Canada.