Some fans still aren't over the fact that Steve Yzerman stepped down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning after building them into a tire Stanley Cup contender, handing the reins to longtime assistant Julien BriseBois just two days before training camp. It was quite the way to start the 2018-19 season, and it's the only thing that started off with a bang: the chatter on the possibility of Yzerman taking over in Detroit has also been quite loud.
Yzerman revealed in his press conference that he was stepping down to return to Detroit in order to spend more time with his family. The rumors were quite loud of a potential return with the Red Wings, but some facts were made quite clear first. When the Hall of Fame centre with the Wings, who won the Cup three times as a player, retired, he went straight into management. He began his front office career as vice-president of hockey operations under GM Ken Holland in Detroit and was part of a Cup winner in 2008 before getting the head job with the Lightning.
Holland signed a two-year contract extension at the end of last season to stay on as Red Wings GM.
However, on Friday, NHL insider Bob McKenzie gave his personal input on the situation in Detroit and indicated that he believes Yzerman is set to join the Red Wings organization soon enough. And let's be real, McKenzie is usually right. Here is what he had to say during the first official episode of TSN Hockey Bobcast of the 2018-19 season, as per Chris Nichols of Nichols on Hockey:
“Obviously everybody knows by now that Steve Yzerman is in a senior advisory consultant role to new general manager Julien BrisBois of the Tampa Bay Lightning,” noted McKenzie. “For family and geographic reasons, Yzerman decided to go back to Michigan.
“I’m not saying there’s been any discussions - because if there were it would be tampering - but I think everybody in hockey feels like Steve Yzerman is destined to end up with the Detroit Red Wings.
“Now, Kenny Holland just signed a two-year extension prior to this season. I could envision - and this is just me spitballing, this is not anything that’s in place, I’m not reporting any breakthrough here - I’m spitballing and saying what I could see happening is Steve Yzerman coming in to run the fortunes of the Detroit Red Wings when his contract expires in Tampa after this coming season.
“And I could see Kenny Holland moving up the food chain to make way for Yzerman, or I could see Kenny Holland maybe being a candidate or a possibility with the new Seattle expansion team.
“And I don’t want to get too hung up on contracts and timing and what have you. I just think the conventional hockey wisdom amongst most of us in the game who do this for a living is we feel like Yzerman is going to be boots on the ground with the Detroit Red Wings sooner rather than later once his contract expires.
“But I do not know that as a fact, and you couldn’t know it as a fact because I don’t believe for a moment that anything has been agreed to. But that’s my feeling on Stevie Y eventually ending up with the Red Wings.”
Exciting news or what?