From the very moment that Steve Yzerman announced that he was stepping down as the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this season, hockey fans, particularly Detroit Red Wings fans, have been waiting for him to return to Hockey Town.
All signs seem to point to a return to the Red Wings organization for Yzerman but, because he’s technically under contract with the Lightning until the end of the season, he has steadfastly denied any reports linking him to Detroit. Long-time Red Wings GM Ken Holland signed a two year contract extension just last Spring. A popular theory amongst Wings fans though is that Yzerman will return to Detroit as the team’s GM and Holland will receive a promotion to team President.
To top it off, Red Wings owner Christ Ilitch made some interesting remarks yesterday concerning Yzerman joining the team’s front office, and fans are most excited than ever.
"Speaking of Detroit, when Tigers president and CEO Christopher Ilitch arrived at spring training, he was asked about Steve Yzerman by the Detroit Free Press’s Anthony Fenech. He replied, “There’s not a lot I can say about that, other than I know his contract is expiring this summer. We’ll leave it at that.”
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed some major development on Friday, which sounds like the future of Yzerman in Detroit might come with an unexpected twist. Here is what the insider had to say on this week's 31 Thoughts podcast on Sportsnet.
“My guess about Detroit is IF Steve Yzerman goes in there, Steve Yzerman is going to go in there as the president of hockey operations, and Pat Verbeek is going to be the GM. That’s my guess. Steve Yzerman has a lot of time for Pat Verbeek.”
Many would expect Yzerman to take a position as general manager, however, it seems like he might be more interested in the president of hockey operations there. This is some interesting development, but sure remains exciting for fans in Hockey Town!