I thought it was previously leaked that the contracts were a done deal and just not announced as of yet?
I doubt Yzerman would have bolted (pun not intended) if there was a possibility of an opening...
Ironic. For so long, young players in the organization have had to leave to get their chance because there was no room at the top with great people like Stevie Y already there. Now Yzerman himself is on the other side of that coin and has to leave to get his chance.
There had been talk of Holland and Nill getting long-term extensions, but as to whether the contracts were in the works, they were apparetnly imminent or else Stevie wouldn't have gone to Tampa. If Stevie felt he had ANY chance of being handed the GM job for the Wings within the next five years, he would have stuck around, IMO.
BTW - I have been catching up on all the radio interviews Stevie and various members of the Red Wings brain trust gave last week regarding his departure. In one that I found very interesting, Stevie said that he pretty much knew all along he wouldn't be the GM of the Wings and that he'd have to go somewhere else to run a team.
This is a good move by the Red Wings - Holland is known as one of the best GM's in sports and Nill is no slouch, either. The team has been extremely successful under their watch and it's the only move that makes sense. As much as I hated to see Stevie leave, this is good for the Red Wings (and good for Stevie, cuz he gets to run his own team).
It was class that the Organization gave him the job and everything they possible could (GM job not being possible) to help him decide to stay, knowing he would take that experience and knowledge and have to go somewhere else to really apply it.