WATCH: Jeff Blashill talks to Brad Galli about 'empty feeling' with Red Wings season paused

Posted at 6:39 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 00:02:39-04

Jeff Blashill is like the rest of the hockey world. The Red Wings head coach is waiting for official word on when or if the season will resume.

He's staying busy, and staying as focused as he can.

"When your season gets ended as abruptly as ours has up to this point, then you're kind of left with an empty feeling. You want to be able to finish that out," Blashill told WXYZ on Tuesday.

The NHL announced its decision to pause the 2019-20 season on March 12. There's been no timeline to resume games.

"At different times throughout this pause, there have been moments where I thought we were coming back and playing for sure, and moments where I wasn't sure," he added.

"So we've said to each player, let's just make sure we're preparing to be better next season. If that means we come back for a period of time this season, let's use it as a springboard to be better next year - both individually and collectively as a team."

The Red Wings have already clinched last place in the league. They are 17-49-5 through 71 games. Blashill wants the opportunity to finish the season's final 11 games.

"We don't know what the future holds. We don't know if we're gonna come back and play," Blashill said.

"I'd love to get back with our group, to be honest with you. I'd love to be back with our group in the summer, whenever that might be. I'd love to be able to coach this group again. I'd love to work towards getting better."

The NHL has reportedly floated a plan to teams about holding the draft in June, before the season concludes. Blashill said he didn't know about any plans, but added optimism about where Detroit will pick.

"I think no matter what, no matter how this shakes out -- whether the draft is early, and our draft order changes slightly where we're locked into a couple spots, No. 1 or No. 2. Or if it's the way that it was originally set up, where maybe we're locked from No. 1-4, honestly I think either way we're gonna get a really good player. Are we gonna get the best player in the draft? Time will tell."

Blashill has been watching a few of the old Red Wings broadcasts, as he's home with his family each day. But it's another sports documentary that's captivated so many, including Blashill, to give him some added perspective on the draft.

"We're all watching the Michael Jordan documentary. Most of the nation is. He wasn't the top pick overall. It's never an exact science. At the end of the day, if you can look inside their hearts, and know if they have that big-time inner-drive, that big-time drive to be a winner, that's what matters most."

The timeline of the draft is a wait-and-see, but Blashill remains in close contact with Steve Yzerman.

"I don't know what will happen, and I don't know if the NHL knows for certain. I know there's been conversations of different potentials. There's obviously pluses and minuses to both sides, and that's why they're having the conversations."