Pressure mounts on Steve Yzerman as Red Wings GM.
Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press  

Pressure mounts on Steve Yzerman as Red Wings GM.

Steve Yzerman was once heralded as the savior of the Detroit Red Wings, but fans are starting to change their tune.

Jonathan Larivee

The Detroit Red Wings have been wallowing in mediocrity for several years now and it is starting to seem more and more like there is at least a segment of the Red Wings fan base that is rapidly running out of patience.

Steve Yzerman was heralded as the savior of the franchise when he parted ways with the Tampa Bay Lightning to take on the role of Red Wings general manager but now, several years into his tenure, Yzerman is starting to be on the receiving end of considerable criticism for failing to put together a competitive roster.

The most recent example of that criticism came on Sunday morning, when controversial Toronto columnist Steve Simmons took Yzerman to task over the job he has done in Detroit.

From Simmons:

This is five seasons now of Yzerman in Detroit and nothing much to show for it. The Wings missed the playoffs the three years before he was named general manager and other fancy titles, and have missed the playoffs five straight years under his direction.

In defense of Yzerman, much of his early time in Detroit was spent patching up the mess that was left behind after the departure of previous Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, a mess that included a depleted prospect pool and some very questionable contracts on the books.

Yzerman did an admirable job of getting the Red Wings out from under that mess but it is clear now that fans and pundits alike are putting much more expectations on the team when it comes to making the Stanley Cup playoffs. Additionally, those same critics aren't convicted that this summer's moves, including the additions of players like forward Vladimir Tarasenko, goaltender Jack Campbell, and defenseman Erik Gustafsson, will be enough to get the Red Wings over that playoff hurdle.

Whether or not fans will remain patient with Yzerman through one more losing season remains to be seen.