Detroit #RedWings Governor, President and CEO Christopher Ilitch today announced that Steve Yzerman has been named Executive VP & GM responsible for all hockey operations and that Ken Holland has been promoted to Senior VP and will serve as a senior advisor to hockey operations. pic.twitter.com/klxWolMruX— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 19, 2019
This isn’t quite as good as hiring a forward-thinking GM, but I’ll take it on a Friday.
Steve Yzerman was no doubt a sought out commodity. After Tampa Bay’s collapse in the first round to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Yzerman-to-Detroit stove heated up immediately. Two questions I had immediately:
- Would he bring Pat Verbeek?
- What will happen to Red Wings GM Ken Holland?
As of today, we’re not sure what’s going to happen to Pat Verbeek. Maybe he appears with Yzerman, maybe he’ll strike out on his own to become a GM of another franchise. We do know that Ken Holland isn’t coming near Edmonton, and that’s great news for Oiler fans.
Holland’s time as Red Wings GM has been two tales. Since becoming GM in 1997, he’s been at the helm of some of the most successful Detroit Red Wing squads in history. The Wings were winners of the 1997 Cup when he was Assistant GM, they would make it two in a row with another Cup win in 1998. He’d pick up another Cup win in 2002. So far, so good for Holland.
Since the NHL adopted a salary cap, things haven’t been so rosy. The Wings picked up yet another Stanley Cup win in 2008, but Holland’s success at the GM helm has fallen off a cliff since then. Another Cup Finals appearance in 2008-9, but nothing past the second round since then. No playoff series wins since the lockout shortened season of 2012-13, and no playoffs in the last three seasons.
What happened? Bad things. Bizarre trades, and wacky signings. Want to give Stephen Weiss 25 million dollars for five years? OK. Weiss had an injury filled two year campaign for the Wings, only to be bought out. Trading a first round pick and a prospect to Tampa Bay for Kyle Quincey? Sure, whatever. Avoid like the plague.
Sometimes the best move is no move at all Lucky for Oiler fans, the Wings made the move before Bob Nicholson made his.