The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/17/11 at 07:07 PM ET
Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika spoke to Red Wings GM Ken Holland, Chicago Blackhawks adivsor Scotty Bowman and a certain Tampa Bay Lightning GM named Steve Yzerman about his ability to seemingly make every right move, including signing Sean Bergenheim to a bargain-basement $700,000 contract, and Yzerman’s former employers simply aren’t surprised that Yzerman’s made so many “right” moves that it’s scary:
“You’ve got to be lucky,” said Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, Yzerman’s old boss and mentor. All GMs do. That said, Holland added: “I mean, the guy is sitting out there for anybody to sign, and he signed him.”
And the signing of Bergenheim was just one of a series of successful moves – from hiring rookie coach Guy Boucher, to resigning Martin St. Louis, to acquiring veterans Dwayne Roloson and Eric Brewer during the season. It’s not just that Yzerman hit the jackpot with Bergenheim. It’s that he never really went bust with anyone else.
“I don’t think any of his moves backfired,” said Chicago Blackhawks senior advisor Scotty Bowman, who coached Yzerman in Detroit and worked with him in the Wings’ front office. “Steve’s moves are paying off.”
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. But it’s best to be lucky and good, and what Yzerman has done as a rookie general manager is no accident. He has the makeup for this job, and he essentially prepared for it his whole hockey life. He had what he called a “fascination with the position” as a young player, and it grew as he captained the Wings to three Stanley Cups, won another Cup as a front-office apprentice with the Wings and won an Olympic gold medal as Team Canada’s executive director.
“Winning follows him around, and I think there’s a reason for that – I think his determination, his stubbornness, his passion, his work ethic,” Holland said. “And he plans.”
Continued, and it’s worth your time.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.