Steve Yzerman caught the hockey world by surprise several weeks ago when he stepped aside as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, but it won’t come as a shock to anyone if he ends up with the Detroit Red Wings.
Bob McKenzie released the first official episode of the TSN Hockey Bobcast for the 2018-19 campaign Friday, and at one point answered a listener’s question about Yzerman’s future as an executive free agent next season and the possibility of the Red Wings.
“Obviously everybody knows by now that Steve Yzerman is in a senior advisory consultant role to new general manager Julien BrisBois of the Tampa Bay Lightning,” noted McKenzie. “For family and geographic reasons, Yzerman decided to go back to Michigan.
“I’m not saying there’s been any discussions - because if there were it would be tampering - but I think everybody in hockey feels like Steve Yzerman is destined to end up with the Detroit Red Wings.
“Now, Kenny Holland just signed a two-year extension prior to this season. I could envision - and this is just me spitballing, this is not anything that’s in place, I’m not reporting any breakthrough here - I’m spitballing and saying what I could see happening is Steve Yzerman coming in to run the fortunes of the Detroit Red Wings when his contract expires in Tampa after this coming season.
“And I could see Kenny Holland moving up the food chain to make way for Yzerman, or I could see Kenny Holland maybe being a candidate or a possibility with the new Seattle expansion team.
“And I don’t want to get too hung up on contracts and timing and what have you. I just think the conventional hockey wisdom amongst most of us in the game who do this for a living is we feel like Yzerman is going to be boots on the ground with the Detroit Red Wings sooner rather than later once his contract expires.
“But I do not know that as a fact, and you couldn’t know it as a fact because I don’t believe for a moment that anything has been agreed to. But that’s my feeling on Stevie Y eventually ending up with the Red Wings.”
The next question on the Bobcast wondered about the possibility of Yzerman and the Vancouver Canucks.
McKenzie was short and sweet in his dismissal of that notion.
“Short answer, for all the reasons I said: If you think Steve Yzerman felt uncomfortable geographically being in Tampa - even though I think his birth certificate shows Cranbrook, British Columbia - there’s not a chance in the world he’s going to end up with the Vancouver Canucks,” said hockey’s No. 1 Insider. “And an I said, I’d be very surprised if it doesn’t work out somehow, sometime with the Detroit Red Wings.”