Here's Wednesday's Slap Shots:
- I think everyone realized that in order to become a NHL general manager, Steve Yzerman would have to leave Detroit. When that expected day came, it still came as a shock. Steve Yzerman no longer a Red Wing, but the new general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning
- Yzerman will do an excellent job there. As a colleague suggested to me today, he can only bring that franchise up. The Lightning have redefined dysfunctional in the last couple of seasons. Circus act is almost too kind of a description for the anarchy there.
- Hopefully the damage inflicted in Tampa Bay the last couple of years can be overcome. Tampa has shown to be one of the better sunbelt markets, especially when the team was strong. The team needs a whole new fresh start, and Yzerman can deliver that. At the same time key names like Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and now Steven Stamkos still form a strong and familiar nucleus to not only build around on the ice, but off of it as well.
- Paul Kariya might look good in Tampa Bay, although I suspect Yzerman's immediate on-ice focus will be better stocking the system and bringing in some proven depth players. He will need to fill off-ice vacancies in management and especially behind the bench first. Once he has picked a coaching staff then everyone will have a better look at his vision for next season. Then he can begin plugging the on-ice holes for next season and perhaps beyond.
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