Sorry to say it, but there's no way Stevie is coming back.
First, it's not in his character. When he starts something, he finishes it. He was our captain. He will be their GM. Second, the guy moved his family out to Florida. He's retired from hockey. Why of all places would he come back to Detroit? He has it made.
Maybe he's not the classiest guy there is, but you don't give up on your prospects because of personality flaws. You put them in and see what they can do. Ultimately, you have to assess their value because you've already expended picks and resources on them. Remember, these guys are just kids at this point. There is a lot of room for growing both on the ice and in how they carry themselves.
I was at game 5. It was a really good memory. But alas, it was tarnished by game 7.
The worst part for me was that I was back at school for game 7 and one of my good friends is a Pens fan and I made the mistake of watching the game with him and another Detroit fan. After Lidstrom's last shot, I collapsed on the couch in a haze. My Detroit buddy turns off the tv, and my Pens fan friend is yelling to get the feed back on. It was a complete mess of emotions. I eventually made my friend turn it back on for him because I would be devastated if I couldn't see my team win. But that was one of the hardest things to do.
Edit: and I can't believe how many people didn't watch the game. Game seven, SCF finals at home?? I would have the game on even if my child was being born in the same room.
The way the CBA is set up, any new team will impose a big drain of talent from the rest of the league. The way business is done, teams are now handing out 2 or maybe 3 fat, long-term contracts, and juggling the rest with arbitration and lower salary contracts. It makes it much more difficult for new talented players to find a team that will hand them an elite, long-term contract. Take for example Hossa. It took him several tries in Pittsburgh and Detroit before he found a team that would give him a long-term contract with a nice salary. I think as soon as another expansion team is set-up, players who have the talent but just can't find the right team will suddenly be drawn to the opportunity of scoring a big contract. This will take pressure off of these players from accepting smaller sum contracts on established teams and dilute the talent pool.
In the end I think the solution will be to move failing teams to better markets. For what it's worth, I'd really like to see a Seattle/Portland team.
I think there's a difference between a "hockey fan" and an "NHL fan". Outside of watching pretty much every Wings game. I watch more college hockey than watching NHL games featuring other teams unless were talking NHL playoffs.
I don't see how you could like hockey and not be somewhat interested in how a match-up between Ovechkin/Semin would fare against Crosby/Malkin. That is an exciting game. Do you watch the Wings just because of the city they are from, or are you watching because it's interesting to see how the game unfolds? Knowing the attributes of Wings players and how it factors into the progression of the game is just icing on the cake. I would argue a hockey fan would usually be interested in how a game unfolds between two highly skilled teams.
It's kinda lame of them to repeat a team but if you're really a hockey fan, there's no way you can't be excited by the match-up. If I had nothing else going on, watching the Pens-Caps rivalry seems like a great way to pass the time. They have really talented players on both sides that should make for a great game. Boycotting it is lame, especially if you think it's gonna affect the ratings. You need to sign up and have some hardware installed on your TV if you want to be part of the viewer polls.
Here's some news. Steve Yzerman no longer plays hockey. You want him to sit in an office down the hall from Holland for the rest of his working career just so he can have some undying loyalty to this organization?
Sure, the man is an icon, but you have to remember, he is also a man. If he wants to take his family to Florida and pursue other interests, that's up to him. He was a career player for the Wings and helped turn this organization into a contender. He'll always be rememebered as such.
And whoever said it above was right. If he's successful in Tampa, there will be no coming back to Detroit. He'll devote himself to them like he did to us and bring them home a cup. That's just what Steve Yzerman does.