Embed from Getty Images In case you missed it. Before NHL training camps opened on the 2018-19 season Tampa Bay Lightning general manger Steve Yzerman announced he was stepping down. Not only did he announce it he said he was headed back to Detroit. Causing a frenzy in Motown.
Stating he was tired of trying to tend to his family and flying back and forth between Detroit and Tampa Florida. Detroit Red Wings legend and 20 year captain Steve Yzerman sent a shock wave through the league.
Yzerman who is widely thought of as one of if not the top general manager in hockey was making himself a free agent. One thing. It seems like the only place he is willing to go is the general managers chair in Detroit.
It is known that Yzerman was asked and said no to both the Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton Oilers general managers jobs when they opened a few months ago. Leaving the Flyers owner to say “I think it’s clear he wants to be in Detroit.”
When asked point blank if he has reached out to Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings owner Christopher Ilitch said “No, we have not done that. He is under contract and we generally have a rule within our organization not talking about executives are others who are under contract with another organization.”
That seemed like it was disheartening news to hear. Until Ilitch offered something so small yet so powerfully telling, “There’s not a lot I can say about that other the I know his contract is expiring this summer, and leave it at that.”
So let us take a closer look at that. Ilitch said he has not contacted Yzerman. Fair enough. He really does not need to. It is clear the owner is keeping tabs on the Detroit legend. He acknowledged he knows his contract is expiring.
Throw in the fact Steve Yzerman has already turned down two job opportunities and is known to want to stay in Detroit. Ilitch does not need to approach him now. Simply wait until June 1 when Yzerman’s Lightning obligations are done.
Ken Holland will be in the final year of his two year contract with the Red Wings. He may not get the last year if Christopher Ilitch turns to Yzerman. Which seems likely to happen.