Former NHL veteran Alex Tanguay joins coaching staff with Detroit Red Wings as an assistant

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have hired assistant coach Alex Tanguay.

Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman made the announcement on Wednesday, filling an opening that was created when the team and Dan Bylsma decided he would not return next season.

Tanguay was an assistant coach the last two years for the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League. He had 863 points during a 16-year NHL career, which included two stints with the Colorado Avalanche.

Yzerman in May gave coach Jeff Blashil l a contract extension despite a five-year postseason drought and 172-221-62 career record.

The Red Wings are in the midst of a franchise rebuild, and found the makeshift Central Division a struggle this season. The Central had three teams with 75 or more points, including the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are leading the Stanley Cup Final. Detroit finished tied for last with the Columbus Blue Jackets, both with 48 points.

Tanguay, 41, played in the NHL for 16 seasons, and was a key contributor in Colorado at the pinnacle of the Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry in the 1990s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.