To understate, all the hype this offseason has been about the unbelievable job Steve Yzerman has done trying to stabilize this team. He is undoubtedly on the right track, having already established his coaching staff, brought in a big name scoring threat, locked in Marty for the rest of his career, and begun the tedious task of establishing organizational depth in all areas.
Lost in the fold, and the real beauty in this is that we have not heard a single word from Jeff Vinik. Vinik has stayed out of the way, backed Yzerman with his confidence, and has not influenced personnel decisions in any way. The best part of it being that it is exactly what he said he would do.
As we all remember, Vinik told us when he purchased the team that he would hire a CEO that would hire a GM, which would hire a coaching staff, so on, so forth. Skepticism loomed among the fan base, as this philosophy was a drastic departure from the ever-present, demanding, and hasty influence of Len Barrie and Oren Koules. The “cowboys” had as much (many times more) say in coaching and player decisions as General
Puppet Manager Brian Lawton, and coach Rick Tocchet. Vinik has quietly stood back, and watched Yzerman’s magic with a smile and a nod, and this organization is enjoying one of its most confident offseasons in recent memory.
Jerry Jones, Al Davis, Mark Cuban, and the late George Steinbrenner. All well-known team owners who have at times crippled their organizations, and fan bases because of their arrogant insistence upon being involved in every move their teams make.
Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that now with our Lightning. We can take Jeff Vinik's lead: stand by and watch the man do his job. Which is exactly what he said he would do.
Let that set in for a moment: A Lightning owner making a promise and following through. Which is exactly why Mr. Vinik deserves credit where credit is due.
To get back to my normal humor, angst, and satire, head on over to Don’t Trade Vinny.