After weeks of speculating, it is expected that Steve Yzerman will be
named as the new general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning today.
According to a number of media reports, there will be a press conference
this afternoon to make the formal announcement.
has always been associated with the vacant job in Tampa, and the way he
continuously dodged all questions or was continuously vague in his
answers further fueled speculation that he was the number one candidate
and that he was seriously considering the offer.
Yzerman, like Joe
Nieuwendyk, has taken a path straight to the top since retirement as he
hopped on with the Red Wings front office in 2006.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, looking for a new start after firing their coach and general manager in April, as well as all of the ownership issues of the past few seasons, have to be ecstatic to have a person of Yzerman’s character and ability representing their team. He was Executive Director of Team Canada for the 2010 Olympics and has been learning the ropes of the management business under perhaps the best GM in the NHL, Ken Holland.
The Lightning and the fans should not expect an immediate turnaround, as he has a lot of problems to sort through and a lot or rebuilding to get started. There are a number of highly-paid, aging veterans on the team, yet there are still some shining positives to focus on. Steven Stamkos is the obvious one, and perhaps Yzerman can be the one to snap Stamkos out of the “selfish” mold he’s been put into.
conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. this afternoon.
Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style
It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.
Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:
Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
Bruins: 82 points in 73 games
This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.
The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too. They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.
John Tortorella was left enraged after Roman Polak delivered a dangerous boarding hit on Oliver Bjorkstrand, and he probably wasn’t too pleased after the Columbus Blue Jackets failed to make Toronto pay for Polak’s misdeeds.
Polak received a game misconduct and boarding major for the hit, but the Blue Jackets failed to score on a lengthy power play. Tortorella played to script, as cameras caught him expressing his anger at the situation.
Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?
For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting upJohn Tavares.
The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.