Transcript: Hockey PDOCast ranks Steve Yzerman among the best general managers

Transcribed for accessibility. Dimitri Filipovic and Jonathan Willis discuss what makes Steve Yzerman such a brilliant General Manager.

The Hockey PDOCast is a well-respected, analytically minded podcast that covers various topics in the NHL. Each episode is hosted by Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) and features a guest who can lend his or her expertise to the discussion. In this episode, Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) joins Filipovic to discuss the best general managers and coaches in the NHL.

Episode 112: Top 10 GMs and Top 10 Coaches

Transcript from 23:25 - 25:25. For the sake of clarity and fluency, I have omitted extraneous uses of the phrases “and,” “so,” “sort of,” and “I mean.”

[Willis ranks Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks as #1 and Steve Yzerman as #2]

Willis: Steve Yzerman’s built a very good young team. Just an incredibly professionally run organization. Smart move after smart move after smart move. Turning over responsibility to their young core in a timely fashion, but not bringing them up too soon. So both of those guys [Bowman and Yzerman] just have superb work. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about either of them.

Filipovic: Yeah, yeah. I had them the other way around. I had Yzerman #1 and Bowman #2. They’re kind of a little bit in a class of their own there and you can - it’s a little bit of a subjective opinion. The thing that I’ll say about Yzerman is that what stands out to me is just how big of a bad ass he is, in terms of - you never want to play a game of chicken with him, because he’s just not going to flinch. He’s shown that. This summer we discussed how guys like Bob Murray [GM of the Anaheim Ducks], for example. just really had a rough one and it knocked him down this list. Yzerman was clearly the big winner here where obviously he brought back Stamkos, but then he sneakily snuck in that long-term extension for Victor Hedman, which I feel like was even more important. Then he re-signs a guy like Killorn and he brings back Kucherov in the last minute for what I’d say is a massive steal for that team. The fact that he’s been able to kind of make all of it work and hasn’t necessarily needed to start bleeding away talent and trading away guys, like the Blackhawks have done, is huge for them and kind of makes you think that they’re going to once again be one of the hot picks to either make the Stanley Cup Final or actually win it this year.

Willis: And while we’re singing Yzerman’s praises, Anton Stralman has to be one of the best free agent additions in the last decade. We’re not doing a top ten list of free agent additions, but that was a crazy good contract for a top pairing defenseman and it seems like it’s only now that people really realize how good that player is.

Filipovic: Yeah, I completely agree.