Since the 2016-17 NHL season no team has accumulated more wins than the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning have accumulated one President’s Trophy, two 100-plus point seasons and plenty of regular season records as well. For all the winning the Lightning have done one thing has eluded them, a Stanley Cup championship.
It is fair to say the Tampa Bay Lightning are due. Being a consistent NHL regular season winner has paved the way for the organization to face the Dallas Stars in this year Cup Finals.
So just how does the Lightning playing for the Stanley Cup bode well for the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings? Let’s start with the obvious. The same man who built the juggernaut Tampa Bay hockey team is the same man tasked with rebuilding the Red Wings. Steve Yzerman.
When Yzerman took over as Lightning general manager he took over a bad hockey team. Through shrewd traded and savvy free agent signings, the Lightning became a regular season giant and a regular in the NHL playoffs.
Things are a bit different in Detroit. Yzerman is building a young core around Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, Anthony Mantha and Filip Hroneck. Yet, Yzerman has made some rather nice trades for the Red Wings, such as trading for Robby Fabbri from the St. Louis Blues.
Seeing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 20129-20 NHL Stanley Cup finals, should be a welcomed sight for the Red Wings organization and the Red Wings fans base. Yzerman stated over and over during his time as Red Wings general manger, it takes time to build a winning. Yet, that is what he does.
There are different expectations in Detroit. Yzerman himself acknowledged this by saying he understands the Detroit Red Wings play for championships. He is tasked with getting the organization back to that level of play. There is next to no doubt Yzerman will deliver.
Embed from Getty Images They currently sit at #6 in the first round of the NHL draft. Yet, the Detroit Red Wings hold the keys to the entire draft. With five draft picks before the fourth round, Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman can move up or back because unlike the other teams he has the assets to do it.
Last week in a twenty minute media update, Yzerman played coy. It is not like he was going to tip his hand one way or another. Yzerman said he is going to draft talent, not need. Something he did in Tampa Bay which turned out very well for the Lightning.
The top 10 players in this years draft are outstanding unlike the past two NHL drafts. No matter what he does, Yzerman will make the Red Wings rebuild a little better. There is tremendous talent throughout this years draft. So if he keeps the picks Detroit wins. If he trades the picks Detroit wins.
Steve Yzerman can send a ripple though the league. The top two teams are not trading they’re picks. So the draft truly starts with the third pick. If Yzerman makes a move teams will have to recheck they’re draft boards.
In my opinion, Steve Yzerman understands his team and organization is rebuilding. Unless he gets a massive offer he can not refuse, I do not see the Red Wings moving down.
NHL insiders are all saying that all eyes will by “On Yzerman and Detroit.” Given the NHL draft starts Friday night, and Steve Yzerman and his scouting department are deep in meetings to map out draft strategies he knows what he wants to do in this draft.
Knowing what you would like to do and being able to do them are two different things. Because of 3 second round draft picks, Yzerman is able to do what he wants.
It should be interesting to watch it unfold Friday night in Vancouver, British Columbia. The draft starts at 8:00 pm, fans can tune into NBCSN for complete coverage.