Roundup of opinions on Lightning hiring Steve Yzerman

yzermanhof.jpgAfter reading a ton of takes regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning hiring Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman as their new GMHoosier Hockey’s stance is the closest to my own.

While Yzerman was probably the best available candidate left on the market, I am slightly nervous about the prospect of someone without prior GM experience running the team. That isn’t to dismiss his resume by any means, I believe he is qualified. My concern is that Tampa Bay is a sunbelt team with a decently solid fanbase and I would hate to see further futility continue to result in lack of fan interest. Honestly, that’s the last thing any sunbelt team needs.

The positive for Yzerman is that Tampa Bay has plenty of talent, with players such as Steve Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and the 2009 NHL Entry Draft’s No. 2 pick Victor Hedman. Naturally, the Lightning earn the credibility that comes with hiring a hockey icon who gained experience with the best organization in hockey.

Here’s a collection of some of the reactions to Yzerman’s hiring.

First, Puck Daddy weighed in on the prominent move.

Yzerman is as stoic as the Lightning have been chaotic. He’s as respected as the Lightning have been disrespected, to the point where one Canadian columnist predicted Yzerman would never take the job with such a “bottom feeder.” He’s a champion and a winner for a franchise that’s not known the feeling since 2004.

He’s Stevie flippin’ Y. And now he’s Tampa’s hockey Zeus, Lightning in hand.

Ansar Khan shares the Red Wings’ mixed emotions regarding the Lightning hiring Yzerman as their GM.

A Tampa Bay Online story reports that Yzerman doesn’t expect the Lightning will be an overnight success and that he’ll take a “methodical” approach to re-building the team.

More views and quips on the Yzerman hiring after the jump.


Tom Jones from Tampa Bay.com shares this amusing tidbit:

New Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman was the fourth pick in 1983 draft. Know who the first pick was in the 1983 draft? Brian Lawton, the former Lightning general manager. Yzerman turned out to be the better player, Now let’s see if he can be the better GM, although the bar set by Lawton is not very high.

James Mirtle points out that the Red Wings tried to keep Yzerman around by making him the GM while promoting current GM Ken Holland to team president, but Holland declined to do so. Being a smart organization, the Red Wings didn’t push Holland any further.

Don’t Trade Vinny shares its humorous take on Yzerman’s “interview” process with the Lightning.

Finally, Damian Cristodero of Tampa Bay.com provides the likely consensus of opinions on the hiring.

One thing is for sure, Vinik has kept saying he wanted to put a “world-class” management team in place. Given Yzerman’s accomplishments on and off the ice, he seems to have taken that first step.

(Note: Raw Charge and From the Rink‘s posts on this subject were invaluable in putting this together.)

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    A challenging offseason awaits Dean Lombardi

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    For the 23rd time this season — the most in the NHL — the Los Angeles Kings lost a game where they outshot an opponent.

    It happened last night in Edmonton, where the Kings outshot the Oilers, 35-29, but lost on the scoreboard, 2-1.

    Afterwards, captain Anze Kopitar could only express his frustration.

    “It seems like we’re beating the dead horse every night,” Kopitar said, per LA Kings Insider. “We outshoot teams, we out-chance teams yet we’re on the other side of the winning part so bottom line it’s just not good enough. Whether that’s offensively or defensively, we’ve got to be better in both areas.”

    It’s mostly offensively. For whatever reason, the Kings have the second-worst shooting percentage (7.6) in the NHL, with only Colorado’s (7.2) being lower.

    Perhaps the Kings aren’t getting enough quality shots. Perhaps they don’t have enough quality shooters.

    Probably a bit of both.

    But it’s something that GM Dean Lombardi will need to address this offseason — assuming he can.

    Roster-wise, the big problem for Lombardi is that the Kings have a pair of veteran wingers, Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik, whose contracts look a lot like anchors.

    Brown, 32, and Gaborik, 35, have combined for just 21 goals this season. Meanwhile, their combined cap hit is north of $10 million, and there’s plenty term left on each deal.

    Not helping? Both Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson are pending RFAs, and they’re in line for raises.

    Oh, and there’s not much in the way of top prospects, either. In the past four drafts, only once have the Kings made a first-round pick. (Adrian Kempe went 29th overall in 2014.)

    Eleven points back of the second wild-card spot in the West, the Kings are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. They’re in Calgary tonight to take on the Flames.

    Related: Kings give another kid a look, recall AHL All-Star Brodzinski

    Glendening done for year with fractured ankle, may need surgery

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    What began as a promising season for Detroit’s Luke Glendening has ended on a sour note.

    Glendening — signed in the offseason to a four-year, $7.2 million extension — suffered a fractured ankle in last night’s loss to Carolina, and is done for the year.

    Wings GM Ken Holland announced the news on Wednesday, adding that the club wasn’t sure if Glendening would require surgery or not.

    Glendening, 27, earned his extension after putting up a career-high 21 points in 81 games during the ’15-16 campaign. This year proved to be a frustrating one, though, at least in terms of offense — Glendening found the back of the net just three times in 74 games, and went nearly three months between tallies during the season.

    His ice time also took a hit. After averaging over 14 minutes per night in each of the last two seasons, Glendening received just 12:55 TOI per.

     

    Report: Wild land Gophers captain Kloos, in on Hobey Baker finalist Vecchione

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    Minnesota could soon have a couple more additions to its impressive prospect pool.

    Per the Star-Tribune’s Mike Russo, the club has agreed to terms with University of Minnesota senior Justin Kloos on a two-year, $1.4 million entry-level deal. Kloos — like another prospect that just left school, former first-round pick Luke Kunin — will report to AHL Iowa on an amateur tryout, and his ELC will kick in next year.

    Kloos, 23, captained the Gophers to the NCAA championships this year, racking up 43 points in 38 games. Russo reported the undrafted free agent had “a bunch of offers” from NHL clubs including Calgary, Vancouver and San Jose.

    And the Wild might not be done there.

    In the same report, Russo also notes the Wild are “heavily in” on Union’s Mike Vecchione, widely regarded as one of the top UDFAs available in this year’s collegiate class.

    Vecchione, a senior, finished third in the country this year with 62 points in 36 games en route to a Hobey Baker nomination. He’s captained Union in each of the last two seasons and is the reigning ECAC player of the year. The 24-year-old has been tied to the Flyers, given he has some familiarity with the organization and attended the club’s prospect development camp last summer.

    These have to be exciting times for the Wild (if you ignore the fact they’re mired in an awful slump). Landing Kloos and the potential of getting Vecchione would, as mentioned above, add to a stable that includes Kunin, Russian Kirill Kaprizov, Sweden’s Joel Eriksson-Ek and Kunin’s U.S. junior teammate, Jordan Greenway, who all showed extremely well at the world juniors.

    Speaking of Eriksson Ek, he’s up with the Wild now after being brought over from the Swedish League. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is hopeful the 20-year-old — taken in the first round of the ’15 draft — can provide Minnesota with “a little shot in the arm.”

    Hobbled Penguins hoping to be ‘healed up right around playoff time’

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    PITTSBURGH (AP) Ron Hainsey arrived in Pittsburgh from Carolina a month ago on the verge of reaching the playoffs for the first time in his 14-year career.

    The durable defenseman found an odd but perhaps apt way to fit in with his new team: He got hurt. Ten games into his tenure with the Penguins, Hainsey went down with an upper-body injury to join an increasingly long line of familiar faces watching in suits from the press box rather than wearing sweaters on the bench.

    “Injuries happen,” Hainsey said on Tuesday after skating with his teammates, an important step toward his hopeful return before the postseason begins next month. “Obviously, this team we have a lot of them.”

    So many to so many bold-faced names — from Hainsey and fellow defensemen Olli Maatta, Trevor Daley and Kris Letang to star center Evgeni Malkin and energetic young forwards Jake Guentzel and Conor Sheary — that it’s remarkable the defending Stanley Cup champions have been able to hang around in the chase for the Metropolitan Division and the Presidents’ Trophy.

    “It’s been crazy around here,” said defenseman Justin Schultz, one of only five players to miss fewer than five games so far. “You see so many guys walking around, it’s wild.”

    The wear and tear from trying to keep it together with a threadbare lineup, however, is beginning to show.

    Pittsburgh’s hopes of catching first-place Washington took a hit during a third-period implosion on Sunday night at home against Philadelphia as the Flyers poured in four goals over the final 20 minutes of a 6-2 win that left the Penguins three points behind the Capitals with seven games to go.

    It was a rare forgettable night in a season that’s showcased both the brilliance of center Sidney Crosby (who’s 42 goals lead the league) and the laser focus preached by coach Mike Sullivan.

    There have been few signs of a Stanley Cup hangover. The Penguins have the fewest home losses in the league and they’ve kept Washington and Columbus within arm’s reach despite the kind of health issues their two rivals have largely avoided.

    The key now, even with players on the verge of returning, will be keeping it going. While the odds of Pittsburgh emerging from the three-way race – and avoiding a first-round matchup against the other runner-up – are iffy at best, don’t expect the Penguins to ease up in an effort to rest for the playoffs.

    “Our experience has been that you just don’t flip a switch and turn it on,” Sullivan said. “We’re going to have to go into each game with a mindset of trying to win.”

    Pittsburgh went 8-2 over its final 10 games of the regular season last spring then rolled to the franchise’s fourth championship. Putting together another surge will be difficult, though there were promising signs during a crowded post-practice dressing room.

    Sheary, who left the loss to the Flyers with a lower-body injury, practiced on Tuesday and should play on Wednesday when Chicago visits. Jake Guentzel, who suffered a concussion last week after getting hit illegally by Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen, skated but no timetable has been set for his return.

    The rookie, who struggled getting off the ice after being leveled by Ristolainen, called the hit “just a hockey play,” though it ended with Ristolainen receiving a three-game suspension.

    The line of Guentzel, Sheary and Crosby had almost single-handedly kept Pittsburgh’s offense going with Malkin out. They’re optimistic they’ll get a chance to recreate the mojo before the regular season ends.

    “You don’t want to limp into the playoffs, losing a few games,” Sheary said. “I think momentum is a huge thing in this game. If you’re playing well going into the playoffs, I think that carries over big time.”

    Getting familiar faces back in the lineup before mid-April is critical.

    On that front at least, the Penguins appear to have been spared. It seems everyone has a chance to be in uniform when things get going for real.

    “It seems like all the injuries are supposed to be healed up right around playoff time,” Sheary said.

    “Hopefully we can get those guys back and use it to our advantage.”