Yzerman to Replace Holland as Red Wings GM

The Stevening is here: The Detroit Red Wings have announced a press conference to name former captain Steve Yzerman as the team’s general manager.

With Yzerman taking over as GM, Holland will be booted upstairs to a senior vice president role.  That said, it might be a temporary move.

Holland has long been rumored to be in the running for the GM role with expansion Seattle, and they had previously said they wanted to get someone in place this summer, so the timeline for that does fit.

I’ve said before, and I Tweeted it again this morning, that my concern with Yzeman coming in as GM is that he’s already a god in Detroit.  He seemingly has nothing left to accomplish.  I don’t want to see his legacy damaged if the Wings are still a lottery team in five years and he’s forced out.

Part of that fear is based on expectations for Yzerman and what he actually has the ability to do.

This is going to be Ken Holland’s team for a long time.  Holland will, at least until he’s named GM in Seattle, remain with the organization.  AGM Ryan Martin will remain.  Kris Draper will remain.  This is, for the most part, Yzerman stepping into a management team that already exists.  How much impact can he have in that environment?

Similarly, at least for the 2019-20 season, the Red Wings roster is relatively locked in.  The bad contracts to Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm aren’t going anywhere.  The best move this summer, no matter who the GM is, is to stand pat.

So the earliest Yzerman will be in a position to really shape this team will be at the trade deadline next February.  Even then, it will mostly be selling pending free agents like Mike Green, Trevor Daley, and Jonathan Ericsson.  In all likelihood, those potential trades bring back draft picks, which means the first players acquired via moves Yzerman makes won’t be known until the 2020 Entry Draft, over a year into his tenure as GM.

Maybe he’ll surprise me.  I don’t see it, though.

Red Wings to Pick Sixth After Draft Lottery

What else do you want me to say?

The Red Wings, following their late-season surge, finished the season with the fourth-worst record in the NHL.  Per Tankathon, they were most likely to end up picking sixth overall.  That’s exactly where they ended up.  You can’t argue with math.

In fact, you can look at the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks moved up from 12th to third as proof that the NHL’s draft lottery is a crapshoot.  It’s hard to argue against that as that’s the whole point of the lottery.

I was on Team Tank from the start of the season and I still think it would have been better for the Wings to lose down the stretch than win.  Had the Wings lost two more games over the season it would have been them, not the New Jersey Devils, in the #3 slot that ended up winning the draft lottery and the right to select Jack Hughes.  If they’d dropped even further into the #2 slot, they might not have won the lottery, but they’d be picking fifth overall instead of sixth.  I find it hard to believe those few end of season wins outweigh that.

But it doesn’t matter at this point.  The Wings didn’t tank and they also didn’t get lucky.  They’re picking exactly where the math says they should.