From the "Duffman" Bob Duff of the Windsor Star:
“What the Red Wings do is they draft talent. They go out and find the best players, guys who have skill and compete. That’s going to be part of my philosophy going forward.”--Steve Yzerman
Sure, one could say, "that's what EVERBODY tries to do, Steve". But you know what the difference is? Stevie-Y has actually seen in...and seen it work. Who has been a better sustainable franchise than Detroit over the past 15-20 years? That's right - no one.
And Steve was in on that from the ground floor. First - as a prospect. Second - as a player. Third - as a suit.
But taking on the role as "THE guy" in Tampa, obviously raises a certain degree of anxiety.
“I decided this was the right opportunity for me to do it. I feel I’m a young guy and I have a whole new, exciting career ahead of me, something that’s going to require a lot of work, but it’s something that I want to do. I’ve never done this before. It was really difficult for me. Really emotional, obviously. It was a difficult thing to do, to pull away. In some ways it’s exciting and it other ways, it’s a little bit scary.”
Don't worry, Steve - we're all behind you (except for the days that you play Detroit). We'll watch you cut your teeth on building a franchise and hopefully maintaining it while building rapport with players/executives/scouts/etc around the league.
Until it's time to come home.
The Hockeytown South Project is in full swing this off-season. Stevie has already made some bold, yet rational moves. It'll be interesting to watch him grow as a General Manager...especially on another team.