from Pierre LeBrun of the Athletic,
So, he’s back home. But he’s got work to do. It’s a bigger task now in Detroit than when he arrived in Tampa in 2011. The Wings’ amazing 25-year playoff run emptied the reserves. The cupboards were somewhat bare when Yzerman came on as GM last spring. But he has rolled up his sleeves and is digging into a project that in many ways may help define his management career.
The three-time Olympic hockey champion (as a player in 2002, as the architect of Team Canada in 2010 and 2014) and three-time Stanley Cup champion was the latest executive to take part in my series of Q&A interviews with NHL GMs:
Last question, you traded Athanasiou at the deadline, he will be RFA July 1, it was interesting to me anyway because I think I felt you might trade him because you’re going to make important changes; it’s not just guys who are UFA. There has to be change on some level.
Well, I don’t make changes just to do it. We’re trying to rebuild. How do you do that? We try to get future assets, prospects, draft picks; where are you going to be one year, two years, three years, as far as your picks and prospects. You measure your team, signing the player, what it’s going to cost you to sign him, what he’s worth out there on the market, the value to your team and the value in the rebuild. You take it all under account. And if I’m trying to get draft picks, and/or prospects, you got to open up some of the guys that are marketable. Ultimately, we just felt like the return for the player was good. Now, if AA goes out and scores 40 goals for the Oilers next year, you know, you would argue that two second-round picks weren’t enough. But I have to make that decision today, what’s he going to be for us next year, how much am I going to pay him? I had to make a decision on what I knew today. Ultimately, I felt two second-round picks were very helpful in what we’re trying to do. I didn’t get to know him very well but he was a very nice young man, very respectful, very polite. And I wish him good luck and I hope he does well.
much more (paid) and if you watched Yzerman's trade deadline press conference, he basically said the same thing with different words...