Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

The Seattle Talk Regarding Ken Holland

01/21/2019 at 11:23am EST

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times believes the Seattle expansion team will hire a GM this year and lists a few names, including...

It’s worth keeping an eye on Detroit, where longstanding GM Ken Holland has a year remaining on his contract after this season with former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman poised as his successor.

Yzerman, 53, is an obvious Seattle choice, given he built a Tampa Bay Lightning franchise – much of it under then-CEO Leiweke – currently leading the President’s Trophy race. But Yzerman resigned as Lightning GM last September and remains on a one-year contract as an advisor there, largely for family reasons.

He still lives with his wife, Lisa, in Detroit, where he played all 22 seasons of his Hall of Fame career and won three Stanley Cup titles. Yzerman tired of regularly commuting from Detroit to Tampa as Lightning GM and his three daughters now attend college in the Northeast, so he’s almost certainly not coming here. It’s a matter of what happens with Holland.

Not long ago, B.C. native Holland, 63, would have been most teams’ first GM choice, given his overall success and renowned talent-spotting and player development. Lately, his reputation has taken a hit in Detroit as the rebuilding Red Wings struggle under the salary-cap weight of Holland-approved contracts.

Still, this is Holland’s 22ndseason as Red Wings GM and he’d made the playoffs every year until 2017, notching three Stanley Cup titles.

The Red Wings aren’t playoff-bound now, so there’s opportunity for ownership to swap out Holland for Yzerman a year early. Seattle hiring Holland would give him and the Red Wings a dignified way out of a difficult situation.

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