After reading a ton of takes regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning hiring Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman as their new GM, Hoosier 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.