Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Building Slowly And Talking With Sergei Fedorov

10/03/2019 at 8:17am EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

They appear destined to miss the postseason for the fourth year in a row, having made few changes to the roster that finished 28th overall, 24 points out of the final playoff spot.

But Yzerman, the long-time Red Wings captain and franchise cornerstone who is back after nine years in Tampa Bay, realized when he was hired in April that he was in the middle of a rebuild that will take time to produce results.

“It’s a great challenge,” Yzerman said during training camp. “There’s a lot of work to be done. When I came in in ’83, we kind of went through it (rebuild) and to eventually win a Stanley Cup (in 1997) was very gratifying and I’m hoping we can again do that at some point in the future.

“It just takes time. I can’t tell you, in three years we’re going to be this, in five years we’re going to be this. All I can tell you is this is the way we’re going to do it. If we stick with it and we get a little bit of luck on the way hopefully it’ll happen before 14 years.”

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Below, talking with Sergei Fedorov.

from John Niyp of the Detroit News,

And for now, he’s watching from afar. But with Yzerman returning to run the hockey operation in Detroit, and so many other familiar faces on the staff – Kris Draper, Pat Verbeek, Jiri Fischer, even Mark Howe – it’s only natural to wonder if Fedorov might someday join them.

“It’s a great question I can only fantasize about,” Fedorov said. “You never know – that’s the first answer.”

The second one is a bit more complicated, as everyone knows by now. Some, including his late father on occasion, insisted Fedorov always felt underappreciated in Detroit, trapped in Yzerman's shadow. And a pair of contract stalemates during his time in Detroit – the latter ending with him signing in Anaheim as a free agent in 2003 and finishing his NHL career elsewhere – were viewed as a betrayal by ownership.

But from Fedorov’s perspective, at least, that’s all in the past. And when you ask him if he could see himself back here again – his mother and brother still live in Michigan – the hesitation you hear is mostly him not wanting to sound presumptuous.

“I don’t want to start any rumors or anything, or put any kind of pressure,” Fedorov said. “But humanly, if we put aside everything else, why not? I would love to. …

“I can only say – and not (even) from professional point of view – I would just like to help. If I can help our organization to get better in any way … I’d be glad to do it. In any capacity.”

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