Not everyone can lay claim to being compared to a 1980’s super hero like MacGyver. Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman can add that to his already nearly endless list of accomplishments.
Yzerman, who has been busy thus far in the 2020 NHL Free Agency period, earned some rather high praise from fellow executive Brian Burke. Thanks to his wheeling and dealing, Burke compared Yzerman to the titular character of the popular 1980’s TV series, which has since gotten a recent reboot.
“He’s MacGyver,” Burke said of Yzerman, who signed free-agent forwards Bobby Ryan and Vladislav Namestnikov, defensemen Jon Merrill and Troy Stecher and goalie Thomas Greiss last week. The week before, he acquired defenseman Marc Staal and a 2021 second-round draft pick for future considerations.
“He’s overhauled that team completely all on short-term deals,” Burke continued. “No headlines, just solid signings. Bobby Ryan, who I drafted. Jon Merrill, who we tried to draft but he hit the gap on us. Stecher is a really good right-shot defenseman. Bringing back (Sam) Gagner, Namestnikov, who I love; Greiss, Staal. In my mind, they are dramatically better than a year ago. It’s sheer genius.”
Ryan was drafted by Burke and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 2005, and Burke believes Red Wings fans will like their new forward.
“He’s a phenomenal passer on the power play,” Burke said. “You should’ve seen him in junior working the half wall. He was the puck distributor. You have to play him to shoot but then he’ll make the pass. He has silky hands. People in Detroit will like him.”
Burke, who also described the fact that Detroit dropped to 4th in the NHL Lottery as “a disgrace“, described the player they ultimately selected in Lucas Raymond as “can’t miss”.
The Red Wings have already earned high marks for the improvements they’ve made to the team after finishing last regular season with the NHL’s lowest number of points.
– – Quotes via Mark Faulkner of The Detroit News Link – –