Steve Yzerman was on Detroit radio this afternoon, talking about the Wings, the NHL and the Lester Patrick Award he is receiving on Monday.
Steve mentioned the NHL game is still in transition. The removal of the red line has opened up the game and he really enjoys the bigger offensive zone, and as Steve mentioned, all done without increasing the ice surface.
Still feels the enforcement of the calls is too tight. He compared some calls to an NBA game, you know, where all the players are looking at each other about the call that was just made. He believes the NHL enforcement of the calls is too extreme and the physical play has been taken out of the game. He also states if the refs start backing off on some of the calls, a league wide panic may set in again, claiming the game is going back to the old ways of calling penalties. He does hope the game evolves into letting the players somewhat decide the outcome of the game.
Steve believes the Wings are improving as a team. Even though their stats may no show it, the Wings are a tougher team to play against and the shots allowed per game is very low, which translates into success during the playoffs. He believes the younger talent is starting to blossom, mentioned Franzen and Lebda are beginning to show what they are made of.
He is honored to be receiving the Lester Patrick Award. Credited the Red Wings organization for making the game much more popular in the Michigan area and feels he is accepting the award on behalf of the Wings.
On a side note, I will be covering the Lester Patrick Awards in Detroit on Monday. Stories will appear at KK and at NHL.com next week.