Highlights from Steve Yzerman’s press conference

Embed from Getty Images Steve Yzerman mania has swept across the entire State of Michigan and his return to the Detroit Red Wings has sent ripples across the NHL. His introduction as Red Wings executive vice president and general manger yesterday doubled as a coming home celebration as well.

The prodigal son returns, a fitting analogy on Easter Weekend. Yet that is how Detroiters view Yzerman’s return. He learned the everyday running of the front office in Detroit, then headed to Tampa Bay to apply what he learned. Turning Tampa into an NHL juggernaut (at least during the regular season.) He returned because as he said “I want to live in Detroit.”

Steve Yzerman is the jolt of lightning Detroit sports needs right now. He is proven. He is easily one of the top three general managers in the NHL. Detroit Tigers and Red Wings owner Christopher Ilitch made the only decision that was right. 36 years ago Christopher’s father Mike Ilitch welcomed Yzerman to Detroit upon drafting. 36 years later, Christopher was there to welcome him back.

“To come back to the Red Wings for me was not a difficult decision, I like being a GM, I like being in charge” Yzerman said. Other teams have called him. He was linked to the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers. Steve Yzerman turned down both franchises interview requests.

“We have a lot of work to do.” Yzerman fired off speaking about the rebuild the Red Wings are currently in the middle of. “Rebuilds are not fun. For the fans, players, coaches and front office.” Something both Ilitch and Ken Holland have been saying. But coming from Yzerman fans received it better.

Saying the Tampa Bay Lightning not lifting a Stanley Cup was disappointing, Yzerman quickly said it has motivated him in Detroit. “This is a city that expects to win, that is pressure right there.”

Stevie Y also said “it is going to take time” multiple times during the press conference. It was refreshing to not hear “trust the process.” Make no mistake Steve Yzerman is a very aggressive general manager. He will waste zero time getting to know the Red Wings roster and contracts as well as minor league affiliates.

Yzerman said he will honor the contract extension of head coach Jeff Blashill. He will also buy out contracts if he thinks there are some minor league players ready to help the Wings.

“Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi and Filip Hronek, I believe are a good foundation for a good core of player. It’s time for me to get to work.”

Steve Yzerman is back home in Detroit. The Red Wings are in great hands.


Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Michigan’s John Beilein agree

Embed from Getty Images Not only are Michigan and Michigan State rivals, they are in-state rivals with rabid fan bases. Thanks to the expanded conference slate the two schools meet twice a year because it is a “protected rivalry game.” Now both Tom Izzo and John Beilein want to take it to the max.

“Like football season ends with Michigan and Ohio State, I want to see our season end with Michigan State every year.” Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein said. Spartans head coach Tom Izzo  is in full agreement.

Before this seasons bump to 18 games Michigan State and Michigan met just once during the regular season. For a rivalry that is the Big Ten’s version of North Carolina and Duke (who meet every season on the last regular season game) that is where the Spartans and Wolverines should go.

“The atmosphere that surrounds this game is electric,” Izzo said. “This should absolutely be the last game every season,” he continued.

Both Tom Izzo and John Beilein will plead their case to the head of the Big Ten basketball committee. God willing they will agree. The conferences two top basketball programs should be spotlighted.

There should be no issues with making this the season ender every season. Yet, it is difficult to know exactly what the powers that be will agree with, and what they will not agree with. Although this seems logical.

Michigan State and Michigan is golden for t.v. ratings , something that is important to the conferences. It is sure to be taken into consideration as the two coaches go before the committee. Also just how electric the crowds are will be looked at as well.

This should be a slam dunk. Pun intended.

Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball Michigan and Michigan State thank you

Embed from Getty Images In one of the Big Ten basketball seasons this was one of the bigger upsets. The Purdue Boilermakers had a clear, clean path to the conference title. It all came unraveled last night in Minnesota.

The Mach 9 showdown between Michigan and Michigan State now both looms large and is now a game where the stakes are considerably higher. Higher as in  Big Ten championship high. Two bitter rivals meeting for all the marbles.

The Spartans now have a chance to clinch at least a share of their second-straight regular season Big Ten title on Saturday night, if they beat Michigan. While the Wolverines could clinch at least a share of their first regular season conference title since 2014.

Thanks to the Golden Gophers being, well golden last night The Michigan vs Michigan Sate game has turned into a prime-time, must-see game that will be played on ESPN. The network scrambled to switch prime time games after Purdue went down in defeat.

The funny part in all of this is that both Michigan and Michigan State, team, coaches, fans and players were rooting for Minnesota. Both schools had a united common denominator. A Purdue loss.

Now the fans bases and schools will get back to the business of total and utter dislike for each other schools. Winner takes a share of the title. A Northwestern win Saturday against you got it Purdue gives the Wolverines, Spartans the title outright.

It should be a great game Saturday night.

Michigan State at Michigan who has the advantage?

Embed from Getty Images Tomorrow is a clash between two Big Ten giants. The Michigan State Spartans head to Ann Arbor to face the Michigan Wolverines. In the seasons biggest basketball game to date.

Let’s start with two players all eyes will be on in this hotly anticipated matchup. Two players that are candidates for Big Ten as well as defensive players of the year. Michigan State’s Cassius Winston will be tasked with keeping Michigan State in the game with points. Michigan’s Zavier Simpson hopes to pace the Wolverines.

Simpson is Mr. do-it-all for the Wolverines. He is currently that favorite to win the Big Ten player of the year. Cassius Winston is not only Michigan State’s best in the Big Ten but is one of the most consistent as well. This is a must see matchup. Between these two scorers.

Zavier Simpson’s teammate, Jordan Poole gives Michigan a dynamic one-two punch. Poole leads the Wolverines with a 38.8% shooting from three point land. Poole leads the Wolverines by a large margin with 59 from beyond the arch.

As good as Cassius Winston is Michigan State boasts another great defensive player in Matt McQuaid. McQuaid is guilty of shutting down the best shooters in the conference. He held Purdue’s Carsen Edwards to 7-35. One aspect of the great defender’s game to watch is he can shoot the three as well. 44.1% from three point land.

Both schools have nearly identical front courts Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis and the Spartans Aaron Henry. Both schools count heavily on these two for good reason they are both game changers for the respective teams.

So with that in mind here we go:

BENCH, The edge goes to Michigan only because Michigan State has two big injuries and players that made up their bench have been pressed into action.

Front court, EVEN both schools have very good front courts. There is going to be a three point show put on by both schools tomorrow.

Coaches, EVEN there was a time Michigan State’s Tom Izzo was the best in the Big Ten. However, Since Wolverines coach John Beilein has gotten his program going. He has caught the great Izzo in both wins and talent.

Who wins? Michigan in a tight game. Sure Michigan State has injuries. History tells us never count out a Tom Izzo coached team. The game is in Ann Arbor that is enough to give the Wolverines a slight edge.