Embed from Getty Images While it has not shown up in wins this season, and it has been a while since Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has spoken to the media, he does have a vision for how he wants his hockey team to look. It is that vision that will lift one out of the four Detroit floundering sports teams.
Sunday when the Tampa Bay Lightning invade Hockeytown, Red Wings fans will see the future. Yzerman carved a juggernaut hockey team in Tampa. In classic Yzerman fashion he will not be at Little Caesars Arena for the game. The Red Wings GM is in the Czech Republic for the World Junior Championships, scouting for next June’s NHL draft.
So what type of team does Yzerman want to put together? He wants a skilled, fast team with players who can play with pace, players who have a foundation of skill, skating and strong hockey sense.
Steve Yzerman does not care if it is a Russian, Swede, American or from anywhere else. Black, White, Yellow, Purple, skin color aside, can a player play the way Yzerman is both looking for and demands? That is THE key question. It is also what he looks for.
Let’s look at one of the NHL’s best players, Nikita Kucherov. Kutcherov was not viewed as anything special when he entered the 2011 NHL draft. Yzerman who had personally scouting the Russian forward begged to differ. When the third round rolled up, Yzerman selected Kutcherov ignoring the mainstream meida and scouts. Kutcherov is no stranger to hockey fans, he is an All-Star and a top 3 player in the league.
Perhaps the one thing that Steve Yzerman and his scouting department do as well or better than others is drafting. From 2010-19, no NHL team drafted better than Tampa Bay. That is key for any team, it is beyond important to the rebuilding Red Wings. It is also why Yzerman brought most of his scouts with him to Detroit when he left the Lightning organization.
Steve Yzerman has taken his experience and his ultra competitiveness as a player into his front office role. Make no mistake it will take some time but Yzerman and his scouting department will build the Detroit Red Wings into a strong, sustainable, winning hockey program.