Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is entering his second year on the job, and he’s certainly got his work cut out for him. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown this past March, the Red Wings had the unfortunate distinction of holding the NHL’s worst record at 17-49-5.
Yzerman was interviewed earlier today on a variety of topics, beginning with how he thinks the later start to the next NHL season will affect the Red Wings.
“The later start will affect every team, moreso the teams that weren’t in the playoffs or who played very few playoff games”, he said. “The fact we’ve been out since march, a little bit of inpredicatablility of what to expect from our team.”
How about lineup changes along with getting a better look at some of the younger prospects?
“There will be changes in our lineup,” he said. “Are some of our younger players ready? Ultimately, we d on’t really know because we don’t have a normal pre-season and won’t have had an opportunity to assess them, so decisions will be made over a short period of time, so I think it makes it more difficult to know what to expect form our team.”
Yzerman is hoping that the Red Wings will be able to work something out with the NHL and other non-playoff teams to hold their Training Camp for next season a little earlier:
“Ideally, along with non-playoff teams, we’d love and prefer to start a little bit early and get more time in together. We’re optimistic we’ll be able to work something out with the National Hockey League and the Players Assoscioant as well.
What is it that he’s most looking forward to?
“Getting back to work, obviously and playing hockey. Our season ended abruptly – I had a chance to watch the playoffs on television, and I’ve enjoyed watching – the level of play is outstanding. It makes you yearn for wanting to get back to playing. For myself, it’s my seance year as GM, we want to take a step forward and I”m anxious to continue with our rebuilding of our team and get back to playing.”
What prospects are standing out most to him?
“If we just look at our kids that played in Grand Rapids last year, who theoretically are closer to playing in the next best League outside of the NHL, we had Gustav Lindstrom come up and play games for us and do quite well. Obviously Moritz Seider who is 19 and is turning 20, he played his first year of pro hockey and we’re pleased with the season he had. Givanni Smith who saw time last year; Michael Rassmussen who had a lot of injuries and missed a lot of time last year; and Dennis Cholowski is down there. We haven’t seen them since March, so I’m curious to see once we get into playing where they’e at. All these guys aren’t far out.”