Why Steve Yzerman Ought to Take Tampa’s Crummy GM Job

May 22nd, 2010 by Greg Eno Leave a reply »
From the moment Steve Yzerman sat in the bowels of Joe Louis Arena that day in early July, 2006, you knew this time would come.

As Yzerman reflected on his 22-year playing career—every second of which was spent with the Red Wings—as he spoke of what it would be like to not have to lace up skates and put himself through physical Hell to get through another season, you knew this time would come.

The Red Wings eased Yzerman into the front office, a move that was as academic as moving yourself from the table after dinner.

They gave him a vice president’s title, but it was no joke. It wasn’t a ceremonial nod. This wasn’t Gordie Howe, circa 1971, when the Red Wings of the Bruce Norris ownership gave what Gordie called the “mushroom treatment.”

“They put me in a dark office, opened the door occasionally and dumped blank on me,” Gordie famously said.

Mike Ilitch is no Bruce Norris—thank God. When he promoted Yzerman, it was with a purpose. He was seamlessly moved from the rank and file to management. Then he started learning the ins and outs of running an NHL team from up ...

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