Having been put on ice for over a month now, Red Wing coach Dave Lewis can begin planning his next hockey campaign. The Red Wings today announced they were working with Lewis and his agent on a new contract to guide the pride of Hockeytown for a bit longer.
Ken Holland, General Manager of the Wings eliminated the rumour mill mumblings, with his announcement today that it was the hope of the Wings to get the details sorted out quickly. Ever since the Wings were eliminated by the Calgary Flames, the status of Lewis’ contract has been debated. With a star studded line up that has failed to return to the Cup final since Lewis took over, many felt that the Wings would go shopping for a veteran coach ending the Lewis experiment.
Lewis took over from lengendary coach Scotty Bowman two years ago, after the Wings had run their 10th Stanley Cup. It was expected at the time that the Wings would pick up where they left off under Bowman and give the Motor city consecutive Stanleys. But all great plans go astray from time to time and the Red Wings have learned not to take their Stanley Cup appearances for granted.
Last year they were eliminated in the first round by the suprising Anaheim Mighty Ducks who went on to the finals. This year they fell to the hard working Calgary Flames, a team that finds itself one win away from the engravers pen. It’s Small consolation for a team that expected to be challenging for the Cup the last two years.
With the announcement that Lewis is still their guy, the Wings are suggesting that the problems may not be managerial related but perhaps with the roster. Giving Lewis a chance to rebuild the team to his liking is only fair, expect him to be provided with younger veteran talent depending on the state of the NHL come training camp.
For Lewis it’s a good day and a just reward. To be given the chance to continue to run one of the fabled NHL franchises is something many coaches can only dream of. He now can put his stamp on the team by leading them back to the top of the pack. That no doubt is the thinking at the Red Wing offices. Strong on tradition they will give one of their own a little more time to lead them back.