Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/23/13 at 03:13 PM ET
from Tracey Myers of CSNChicago,
Yzerman is trying to do in Tampa what his former team, the Detroit Red Wings, have done for years. It’s also been part of the Chicago Blackhawks’ blueprint in their rise back to success and winning two Stanley Cups in the past four seasons. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman says it constantly: you have to develop your own talent, you can’t lean on the free-agent market to build your team. After this Cup season, Bowman largely stayed away from the summer market, focusing on Rockford players who deserved their opportunity to make the big club.
The squads that have followed that mantra have found sustained success. Yzerman is trying to do the same with the Lightning. And Tampa’s youth is on board with it.
“Steve’s been honest with us,” Tampa Bay defenseman Mark Barberio said. “He said, ‘We want you guys to get your ice time in the American (Hockey) League, develop as players there.’ And when it’s time for us to move up we’re not too shell-shocked or out of place. You get to go out and play hockey and do your job.”
Being in Yzerman’s presence, still, can be humbling. This is a three-time Cup winner who was a captain for more than 1,300 career games. But Johnson said Yzerman’s down-to-earth nature helps.
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