I’m coming home, I’m coming home
Tell the world I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away
All the pain of yesterday
The Detroit Red Wings early Friday morning gave fans the best early Christmas gift they could have ever asked for.
JUST ANNOUNCED: The #RedWings will hold a press conference today at 3 p.m. EST with Christopher Ilitch, Steve Yzerman and Ken Holland.
Watch live on https://t.co/JeI97PrF2L, the Detroit Red Wings Facebook page and the Detroit Red Wings Twitter page.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 19, 2019
That’s right, Steve Yzerman is making his return to the Motor City as general manager.
Yzerman, 53, was the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning since 2010 before announcing just prior to the 2018-19 season that he would be stepping aside to take an advisory role with the Lightning so he could spend more time with his family in Detroit.
This, of course, led to speculation the 20-year captain of the Red Wings from 1987-2006 wanted to become the GM in Detroit.
Yzerman played in 1,514 games for the Red Wings over 22 seasons, winning three Stanley Cups. He had 692 goals and 1,063 assists.
He was with the Red Wings for four seasons after his retirement, serving as an assistant to Holland.
Yzerman was credited with handing out team-friendly deals to many of the superstars on the Lightning, helping the team remain competitive in the salary cap era.
Everyone and their mother knows the Red Wings have struggled with handing out lucrative deals to mediocre players, and fans are hoping Yzerman can curb that as Detroit heads into a new era.
Not to mention, the hiring of Yzerman should make the Red Wings more attractive in free agency. Ever since the team “missed” out on Ryan Suter and Zach Parise in the summer of 2012, Holland and Co. haven’t been able to land any top-name free agents.
They’ve been able to sign depth pieces such as Daniel Alfredsson and Frans Nielsen, but any top-pairing defenseman, or in the case of 2016, missing Steven Stamkos, has hurt the team’s ability to speed up the rebuild.
Now, free agents are going to see Yzerman leading the Red Wings and remember the success he had in Tampa Bay. Does this put them over the hump to land Erik Karlsson. Do they even want Karlsson with his recent injury woes?
I have to imagine Tampa Bay’s first-round exit at the hand of the Columbus Blue Jackets played a major role in Yzerman joining the Red Wings this summer. Granted, you could make the argument if the Lightning win the Stanley Cup this season, he leaves on top, ready to return his former team to glory.
I’m a bit surprised Yzerman didn’t want to stay with the Lightning until he got that Stanley Cup, but the opportunity to bring the Red Wings back to prominence, as well as be close to family, must have been too much to pass.