2:20pm: The team has officially announced Yzerman as general manager, but also explained that Holland has agreed to a multi-year extension to stay on in his new role as Senior VP. The two will work together for the time being.
8:00am: The Detroit Red Wings are bringing back their boy. The team has set a press conference for this afternoon to introduce Steve Yzerman as the next general manager of the team. Ken Holland, who is currently working in that role, will move to a position called Senior Vice President according to Gord Miller of TSN.
It’s hard to state just how momentous a situation this is for the Red Wings. Not only does the team get to welcome back one of the greatest figures in the history of their franchise, a player who exemplified leadership and success through his 22-year career on the ice, but they also bring in the mastermind behind one of the greatest regular season teams in NHL history. Though Yzerman stepped down from his role as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning in September, his fingerprints are still all over the roster that just went 62-16-4 to match the NHL record for wins in a single season—one set by Yzerman’s Red Wings in 1995-96.
Obviously things didn’t go the way Tampa Bay had hoped in the playoffs, but Red Wings fans will be more focused on how Yzerman acquired and kept oodles of talent on the NHL roster through various means, building a powerhouse franchise even without the financial might an organization like Detroit brings.
It’s not really like Yzerman ever left, as he kept his family and home in Michigan while working in Tampa Bay. Commuting regularly, wanting to spend more time with his family was one of the reasons he gave when stepping down from the job initially. It appeared likely then that he would find his way back to the Red Wings, though some believed it would have to be after Holland left town. Instead it sounds like the team will keep their long-time GM around in another role, though rumors are already surfacing on what Holland’s next career step may be.
There is already some speculation as well over whether Yzerman will bring some of the Tampa Bay front office with him. Bob McKenzie of TSN tweets that AGM Pat Verbeek’s contract is up at the end of the year and could follow Yzerman back to Detroit, while chief amateur scout Al Murray is a candidate to do the same. None of that is official at this point, but you can bet there will be several names who want to get on board this new Red Wings ride.