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Abel to Yzerman

Do You Consider Steve Yzerman An Elite GM?

from Adam Gretz of NBC Sports,

In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we turn our focus to the league’s 31 general managers to see who is at the top of the class and doing the best job building their team.

We are looking at a combination of career achievement, as well as current success and the way they have set their team up for the long-term.

Who tops the list?

The Elites

1. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche. There is not a team in the NHL that is set up for more long-term success than the Avalanche. The Matt Duchene trade could help set up the defense for the next decade, while he has also taken advantage of his salary cap situation to the past two years to stack the depth chart behind his All-Star top line.

2. Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings. His Detroit track record is obviously incomplete, but he was the main architect of a Tampa Bay Lightning team that has been the NHL’s most successful team over the past six years. That counts. A lot. That is also why he gets such a high mark.

read on for more names...

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Comments

Avatar

I have very high regard for Yzerman as a GM but I think calling him elite is a bit premature. Most highly effective GMs have long careers and Yzerman is just getting started in that regard. If, he manages to make Detroit into a perennial contender and at least has a couple final appearances to show for it, then he can enter the realm of “elite”. BTW, using this definition, I would consider Sakic elite either.

But the original article was more about who is doing the best job right now in positioning his team for near and not so near future. Sakic has certainly managed that. Yzerman is doing a good job but his Detroit draft picks must contribute at the NHL to move up the list.

Posted by evileye on 12/02/20 at 03:20 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

It depends on how much credit you give him for Tampa’s cup, and since we’re talking about it, how much you put winning the Stanely covid cup tournament on par with being a regular Stanley cup champion.

Obviously the cup was presented, and their names are on it, but do you equate that win to the same as finishing out a season and going right into the playoffs, vs. the layoff.  Not dealing with the rigors of travel, playing in unfriendly stadiums, the pressure of the home crowd, etc. vs. having to live in a bubble?  Boston’s starting goalie basically went home.

Tampa was up to that point, unable to get it done under normal circumstances, choked under that pressure. 

Also how much stock do you give Julien BriseBois over Yzerman? Its Yzerman’s core, ok, but did BriseBois finally add the elements to get it done?  And speaking of the core, the best player on the ice for 30+ minutes a game was Hedman, so should we give credit to Brian Lawton as well?

I can tell you this, with the contracts coming off the books in the last two years and the next two, and the amount of picks he’s had, this team better be a playoff team at minimum in 2-3 years.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 12/02/20 at 04:44 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

No lol.

Chicago, Pittsburgh, kings - in a cap era - are arguably modern day dynasties.

Yzerman has half a stanley cup.

Posted by ilovehomers on 12/02/20 at 06:13 PM ET

Avatar

I’d call Sakic and Yzerman very impressive up and comers
who look like they have among the shrewdest 360 degree approaches team
building in the current era. Elite is a little premature. Same with Brisebois for sure - way too early and too much of his success shared - unless the category is best up and coming.

This is always going to be a debate as it’s not clear how much success
lately or over a career should be considered.

The Pens (and other) fans I see online think Jim Rutherford is
an absolute mess lately and should basically be asked to hand
over the keys before making anymore bad trades. But he made some
aggressive and very effective ones just a few years ago. Not sure what you do with Crosby and Malkin aging but still really good, but I don’t think anyone thinks that team is set up well or prepared for the future.

I’m not sure losing Pietreangelo in significant part due to trading for Justin
Faulk and then handing him a huge deal to play on the third pairing should have him at third. Krug is not really considered a two way defenseman. But Armstrong did made some great deals to acquire the top two centers and showed great judgment and patience in making a coaching change and giving it time to work.

Kekailainen seems way too low at 19th. Dubas seems way too high at 11th.
Who has done more with less and who has done less with more?
Rob Blake seems to have the Kings on the right track. But he also signed Drew Doughty to one an exorbitant deal and overpaid and had to cut loose Kovalchuk.

Fans and writers are never going to agree completely even if the criteria are really clear and consistent. But this is a weird list.

Posted by lefty.30 on 12/02/20 at 11:32 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I think Yzerman did good work, but he literally had the two franchise cornerstones already there for him in TB, in Stamkos and Hedman.  So you have to judge his TB work with a bit of a grain of salt.  His ability to go out and find guys like Yanni Gourde though that was just bouncing aroudn the ECHL w/ brief AHL looks says something, and certainly has contributed to TB’s success.

Yzerman has done well with asset management in DET and making the most of them.  His drafting so far though in DET is… up for debate.  And that’s the biggest caveat.  He needs to start having some serious Hits with draft picks like Seider, or else I mean, he’s failed regardless of all else.

So no, not an elite GM.

Ken Holland at #13 is ridiculous.  Say what you will about him (and we have) but there are not 12 other GM’s better than him in the league rightnow, esecially thr wtwo right ahead of him in the rankings in Waddell and Dubas.  Dubas is disgustingly overrated.  He’s probably a bottom-third GM.  Seriously.  I’m not sure what he’s ever done to warrant anything more,

I think Rutherford and Nill are probably slightly underrated in the rankings as well.  And Kekalainen is majorly underrated.

Posted by Primis on 12/03/20 at 08:56 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

, but he literally had the two franchise cornerstones already there for him in TB, in Stamkos and Hedman.Posted by Primis on 12/03/20 at 08:56 AM ET

I am really tired of this Mantra!

Lets see who Holland had when he took over GM from Jimmy D:
Yzerman
Lidstrom
Shanny
Larionov
Kossie
Papa bear
McCarty
Federov

That’s enough. Point made.

This inheriting players from a past GM happens all the time. Do i think Yzerman is an elite GM? No, at least not yet. He is a Good GM.

This Elite word is thrown around to easily these days.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 12/04/20 at 05:58 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I am really tired of this Mantra!

Lets see who Holland had when he took over GM from Jimmy D:
Yzerman
Lidstrom
Shanny
Larionov
Kossie
Papa bear
McCarty
Federov

That’s enough. Point made.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 12/04/20 at 05:58 PM ET

That would be a more valid point if Holland then didn’t turn around and win 1, nearly 2 back-to-back, Cups with Lidstrom being the single only carry-over from that group.  People forget that.  Yes Holland inherited a good team, but then when all those guys retired DET never stopped being a Cup contender.  So Holland took that group he inherited, won, then kept winning as those guys left and he filtered an entirely different second group in.

I think that speaks for itself.

Posted by Primis on 12/07/20 at 08:11 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Primis

Lidstrom was the only carry over?

The 2008 team had Holmstrom, Lidstrom, Draper and Maltby. Yes, Lidstrom being the only HOF from the original 97’ team.

98’ and 2002 HOFs all from Jimmy D era:
Yzerman
Lidstrom
Federov
Larionov
Shanny

Not sure where you are going with this delusion.

Now if Holland.wins a cup in Edmonton will you say the same for his inherited corner stones?
McDavid
Puljujärvi
Draisaitl

Or did Holland call Garth Snow and request he draft these players since he knew he was eventually going to end up there?

 

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 12/07/20 at 11:41 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com