Yesterday, a Detroit writer posted an article opining that the Detroit Red Wings should do whatever it takes to bring Steve Yzerman back as the General Manager.
Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager and Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman has been bred to run the Red Wings. He was a legend on the ice and he is becoming one off the ice. He’s won two gold medals running Team Canada and he built a Stanley Cup finalist in Tampa Bay. He’s built the Lightning with skill, size and Canadian grit — things the Wings lack.
[ ... ]
It’s time to wipe the slate clean. Bring the Captain home. Hire Steve Yzerman to rebuild the Wings as they head into a new arena and a new era. He was born to do this job. It’s much like John Elway with the Denver Broncos. He was a champion as a player and now he is a champion as an executive. I believe that’s Steve Yzerman’s destiny with the Red Wings.
Frankly, Detroit had their opportunity to hang on to Steve Yzerman. Unfortunately for them, they were unwilling to make moves necessary to keep him. He was the number three guy in Detroit and was clearly not seen as the eventual successor to then and current General Manager Ken Holland with Assistant General Manager Jim Nill both having signed long term contracts shortly before Yzerman left in 2010. Yzerman was at a dead end with the Red Wings and was left to either look for a job elsewhere or wait an undetermined amount of time for Holland and Nill to either retire or leave the organization. Nill did eventually leave in April of 2013 (three years after Yzerman was hired by the Lightning) to become the General Manager of the Dallas Stars.
Yzerman's current contract runs through the 2018-19 season. True, Detroit could offer up some compensation in return for Yzerman and the writer even suggests that the Red Wings should trade draft picks to get him. But from Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's position, I would be asking "Why?" Why should Vinik give up one of the best hockey minds in the game today. Why should Vinik give up the person that has re-built this team from a bare cupboard with some spare parts to a strong, well stocked roster with a good development pipeline? Why should Vinik give up the person that has helped build a Stanley Cup contender and that in turn has revitalized downtown Tampa and given Vinik opportunities to profit and flourish with his real estate developments?
There is no logical reason that I can see for Vinik to agree to give up Yzerman. Yzerman has given no indication that he wants to leave and has in Jeffrey Vinik one of the best owners in the league and an owner that appears to be in it for the long haul. I'll leave to you something Yzerman stated recently about his future in Tampa.
Anyway, Tampa Bay is his home. For now. Maybe for a long time.
"I hope so," Yzerman said. "That means I'm doing a good job and I'd be very happy with that. I'm worried about right now, the next few years. And if I'm the GM of the Lightning in 20 years that means I've done a good job."