Detroit Red Wings general manager, Steve Yzerman is not one to talk about issues, he prefers to just fix them. When Yzerman took over as GM, the Red Wings were in shambles, the team went to the Stanley Cup Playoffs 25 years in a row, but winning comes at a cost. Up against the salary cap with an aging roster and next to nothing in the pipeline, Yzerman went to work.
Entering his fourth season as GM, Steve Yzerman has rebuilt the Detroit Red Wings pipeline. The same pipeline that ranked dead last four years ago now is ranked #2 behind the Los Angeles Kings. One small yet important detail, Yzerman has rebuilt the pipeline and has not had the first pick in the draft. Let that sink in.
The argument could be made that if the Red Wings had the first overall pick in one of the Yzerman lead drafts the rebuild would be a bit further along. Perhaps. Still the organization did not and has shot up the rankings.
With one of the best offseason the Red Wings have had in some time, the team looks like they will not be a bottom 10 team. In fact it is possible the Red Wings are in position for a playoff birth this season. I am not so sure they will get there but……
What needs to be pointed out is that Yzerman is building the Red Wings much like he built the two time Stanley Cup Champion, Tampa Bay Lightning. Not and exact copy mind you. The Red Wings are going big on defense. Seven of the Detroit defensive players are 6′ 2″ or taller.
Speed. Yzerman puts a premium on speed. The Red Wings are on the verge of being one of the faster teams in the NHL. Big + speed = wins, that is what Yzerman did in Tampa and what he is doing in Detroit.
There is still work to be done. If you saw his end of the season press conference Steve Yzerman said there is always work to be done. The Red Wings are going to be a nasty hockey team soon. This is where the fun starts.
Drop a comment and let me know your thoughts on the state of the Red Wings.