Just call it a gut feeling but, bad idea. To have him possibly fired one day is just too awful to consider. The Captain is spotless in Detroit now. Why ever change that?
There's definitely a part of me that feels this way, but part that feels like it could work out. I'm not quite 50/50 on the matter though, because I think there's a tremendous upside to Yzerman as a Wings GM that only he could bring.
The way I see it working though is if he came in to the job and left or moved to another position in the organization before things have the chance to get ugly, and I think it's very possible that is what could happen. I think he's a better hockey mind than many give him credit for. He's done a solid job for a rookie GM in Tampa Bay, and that team didn't have near the built-in support system that the Wings have. He's put together two Gold medal teams, and while that's a very different rulebook, it still is something he deserves credit for doing. And let's not forget, he had a lot more sway in personnel decisions while he was still a player than most knew.
So truthfully, I think he's got the potential to do a real good job, and more than that, help build a management team for the future that thoroughly understands what the Red Wings stood for as well as what the Illitches stood for. Is there really anyone other than Yzerman that better understands what it means to wear the sweater and manage the team? I don't think so, and I think that's important. I hope he gets his shot one day.
Ultimately, I think he'll stick with Tampa Bay a bit longer because he seems like that type, and unless things change, I wouldn't be shocked if we were looking for a new GM before he was ready to come back home. If Holland continues to make bonehead signings while failing to replace bigger holes, I really have to think they'll make a change at some point in the next couple of years. Maybe he'll just move to another position with the team, but as I've said numerous times before, something's got to give. He can't keep failing to lure anyone noteworthy to the team while signing mediocre guys to terrible deals, and at the wrong positions to those needed at that.
Here's something that not enough people are thinking about: Holland has overseen the Wings go from a premier destination franchise to a franchise that often doesn't make the cut when guys who have NTCs make their lists. Remember when Rafalski came to us for less money? Hometown deal or not, we'll know more about what that's worth anymore if we attempt to sign Legwand, but I'm suspecting it doesn't have the same appeal. Also, remember when Hossa turned down absurdly huge contracts to come play for the Wings, and he called us?!? He played for below market value and gambled on his career earnings to do it because he wanted to be a Wing. Yes, we got Dekeyser last year, but if this were 3-4 years ago, do you think there would've even been any debating the matter or do you think Dekeyser would've been begging to be a Wing? I suspect the latter. Fact of the matter is, Holland let this team's image slip, not at all irreparably, but enough so that it's become an uphill battle in the marketplace and stripped away what little financial leverage we were clinging to in the cap era.
I'm not the first person to say it, but that Holland failed to have a better transition plan for Lidstrom is absurd, especially when he could've been doing more to address the matter when we still had Lidstrom and a lot more leverage. He failed to do this, and his career status kept him afloat. But mark my words, if he fails to bring in a top-tier forward in the next 1-2 years to help us transition from a Datsyuk and Zetterberg-lead offense, we will be way more screwed than we've been in a long, long, long time, and if one of those guys retires or heads to the KHL before we've signed a replacement, if it were up to me, the guy would be fired on the spot. There's no excuses after the lessons he hopefully learned in seeing how hard it's been to fill holes after the fact from a point of desperation. And with the cap only expected to go up, he has no reason not to go out and not sign three guys that don't even play to contracts totaling around $7 million and sign one guy who can, you know, actually play, and make an impact, and lead and teach our younger kids coming up in the system. And note, I'm not even mentioning the fact that I'm still utterly and completely shocked that we haven't acquired even a Stuart-level defenseman after Rafalski, Stuart and Lidstrom all left within the span of a year, and it's been almost two years now.
Ugh, the Holland tangents are getting harder and harder to avoid, but I did want to bring it back home to Yzerman, because all that said, I think Yzerman really might be a great fit at GM for the Wings at some point in the next 5-10 years, because I think this team is going to need to reestablish it's identity on some level, and for reasons listed above, I think Yzerman may be the best guy to be in the GM seat to do it. He's not a perfect GM and never will be, but Holland clearly isn't either, and some still like to say he's the best, and most acknowledge that at least at one point he was likely one of the best. Bottom line, no GM is perfect, and Yzerman is anything but bad. I don't think he'd take the job if he didn't believe he could do a great job, because that's who Yzerman is. He's a tremendous leader, and he knows what goes into these decisions. If Yzerman were willing, we'd do well not to bet against him, because you know if he says yes, he's going to come in and do all that he can to build a great team and be a great leader within management. Sure, there's a chance it could end ugly, but there's also a chance that it becomes the key ingredient to what gets and keeps this team on track for the foreseeable future.
So 2015? Probably not. 2020? Let's talk.