After months and months of build up last season the Detroit Red Wings finally named former Red Wings forward Steve Yzerman the new general manager of the organization. The announcement came off the heels of intense speculation that suggested that Yzerman was the heir apparent to long-time Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, who has since left the organization to become general manager of the Edmonton Oilers organization, and it marked a new era in Detroit Red Wings history.
Although we are unquestionably now in the midst of the Yzerman era, the former Red Wings superstar has yet to truly make his mark on the organization, at least from a managerial perspective. That all changed on Friday however when it was revealed that Yzerman had made sweeping changes across the board, letting some key members of Holland's staff walk away while also hiring some others and making some promotions internally as well.
According to a report from the Detroit News the Red Wings made some major changes this week with arguably the biggest move involving another former NHL player in Kris Draper. Draper has now been promoted to the Red Wings director of amateur scouting, replacing the former director in Tyler Wright whose contract was not renewed after Yzerman took over the job as general manager. Draper is of course well respected both on and off the ice and this may be just the first step of his rise up the ranks under Yzerman's leadership.
That was not the only change from Yzerman though, instead it seems like the Red Wings GM has been hard at work this summer building out his new staff. According to the Detroit News the Red Wings also added Ryan Rezmierski to their amateur scouting staff, a role he previously filled for the Nashville Predators for 8 years. Additionally Yzerman also added former Detroit Red Wings draft pick Jesse Wallin to the scouting staff, Wallin had been a scout for the Stanley Cup Champion winning St. Louis blues over the past 6 years of his career.
The Red Wings also made some minor changes to their coaching structure as well under Yzerman. The team has reportedly added former Hurricanes video coach LJ Scarpace to their staff, a move necessitated by the fact that the Red Wings former video coach, Adam Nightingale, has been promoted to assistant coaching after spending 2 years under Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill.
None of these changes will have an immediate impact on the on-ice product for the Red Wings, but you can bet that they are the start of a very important process that could drastically impact the future of the Red Wings organization.