Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Talking With Steve Yzerman

06/07/2019 at 4:16pm EDT

from Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com,

In a recent wide-ranging discussion with NHL.com, Yzerman elaborated on life without Holland in Detroit, why he doesn't think teams can be built via free agency, and the future of veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall.

You consider Ken Holland a mentor. What kind of legacy has he left on the Red Wings organization?

"At the end of the day, I understood where he's coming from. Mostly, he's happy about his move so we're all pleased for him. In the Detroit organization, he's done so much for us. Not only building Stanley Cup teams, all of us who have worked with him, he's been a friend, a father figure, a professional adviser to us all, and he's looked out for us all. We're all grateful for everything he's done for us and we're going to miss him."

Holland always stressed the importance of the NHL Draft, as did you when you were GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. You have the No. 6 pick in the 2019 Draft, how key is it to hit on this selection?

"The Draft is so important. You have to acquire your talent some way. To do it through unrestricted free agency, you're not going to build a team that way. At least I don't think you can build a team that way. How you do it is acquire the young talent and try to develop them. I think we're fortunate to have a small core of the [Dylan] Larkins, the [Anthony] Manthas, the [Tyler] Bertuzzis coming. There's the foundation there and we have to add to it. They're all good young players."

Judging by those comments, should we not expect a big splash from the Red Wings in free agency?

read on

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