Steve Yzerman: Red Wings Team Needs to Improve

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Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman held a press conference to discuss the open head coaching position of the team. He said that Jeff Blashill was “a good coach” but that it was time for the team to move forward. This was because the team had not progressed and had fallen back in some aspects of the game. One moment of levity that Yzerman did let slip is when he said that the program “wasn’t a complete sh-t show.”

Yzerman felt the Red Wings needed to get back on track

Yzerman has now been the general manager of the Red Wings for three seasons. While the team has progressed under his watch, he felt that Blashill was not the right coach to get the team to take the next steps in the rebuild. The team has amassed many draft picks and prospects in the time that both Blashill and Yzerman have been at the helm of the organization.

Defenseman Moritz Seider was the first player drafted by Yzerman in his time as general manager of the Red Wings. This draft pick was seen as a risk at the time of the draft given that Seider was not expecting to be drafted until the 15 to 20 overall draft pick. His look of surprise was matched by the mood at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. Seider totaled 50 points in his first season as a defenseman for the Red Wings.

Beyond this, it can be difficult to glean anything from a Yzerman press conference. He said during the press conference “I’m actually saying as much as I can but actually saying nothing if you haven’t picked up on that yet.” It was not as if Yzerman would come to this press conference ready to announce a new head coach of the Red Wings. Yzerman said that he expects to have a coaching decision before the NHL draft on July 7th.

There are several names on Yzerman’s wish list according to the general manager. Whether or not any of these candidates will be the future coach of the Red Wings will not depend on the system that they run. This is slightly concerning given the struggles of the team on the defensive side of the puck. What will not be part of Yzerman’s coaching prerequisites is whether or not the coaching candidate has had previous coaching experience.

Blashill was a first-time coach when he was named head coach of the Red Wings in 2015. This may be the case when it comes to the next head coach of the Red Wings. The coach may also come from any of the various hockey leagues around the world. The previous coach that Yzerman hired, Jon Cooper, is also a first-time NHL head coach. Cooper is currently preparing to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a third Stanley Cup championship in a row.

The Red Wings organization has plenty of prospects in its minor league ranks. These players such as defenseman Simon Edvinsson and forward Jonatan Berggren are still making their way to the Red Wings and have impressed Yzerman in their development thus far. Berggren was named American Hockey League rookie of the month for April. He is the third Grand Rapids Griffin to win this award. Goaltender Sebastian Cossa was drafted by the Red Wings 15th overall in the 2021 NHL draft.

The next event that the Red Wings’ brass needs to prepare for is the NHL draft. The Red Wings will have a 6% chance of getting the number one pick in the upcoming draft. The draft lottery will take place on May 10th. The first player selected in the 2022 NHL will most likely be Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs.

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