In 2019, Steve Yzerman made his return to Detroit after spending eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning as their General Manager. In his time in Tampa, Yzerman rebuilt the Lightning into a playoff and Stanley Cup contender, ending up making a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2015 and eventually winning back-to-back cups in 2020 and 2021. Although Yzerman had already returned to the Detroit Red Wings when Tampa won their cups, his fingerprints were all over the roster that was in place at the time.
So when “The Captain” returned to Detroit, the expectation was that he would be the immediate savior of the organization he helped bring three Stanley Cups to as a player and return them to their glory days. Yzerman quickly shot those expectations down and spoke numerous times about the fact that this rebuild would not happen overnight and would take years to accomplish.
Inheriting a team that finished the 2018-19 season 32-40-10 and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season, Yzerman started the rehaul and rebuild of the roster. Whether it has been free agent signings, trades, draft picks, or coaching changes, Yzerman is beginning to leave his mark on the organization yet again.
Every General Manager has their good and bad moves and is met with the scrutiny that comes with these moves. Yzerman has been no exception to this, whether it be in his time in Tampa or back in Detroit.