Yzerman Stepping Down as Team Canada Architect

As Canada still celebrates the sweet victory of another gold medal for the Canadian men’s hockey team, Steve Yzerman has already raised a question on what happens in 2018.  There is monumental pressure in Canada to win gold at the Olympics in hockey, whether it is men or women.  That immense pressure has been put on the shoulders of Steve Yzerman as General Manger in 2010 and 2014 with perfect results.  Now, as we are a few days removed from the Winter Olympics it has been released by the media that Yzerman will step down as the Canadian General Manager.

Steve Yzerman

Steve Yzerman

How do we replace Steve Yzerman?  Yzerman was an instrumental piece of the puzzle for the first hockey gold for Canada in 50 years when they won in 2002.  Yzerman was also on the 1998 team in Nagano, Japan and after injury left him out of the 2006 Olympic Games, Wayne Gretzky announced as Canada’s GM that #19 would be retired for Team Canada.  In 2009 once Yzerman took the reigns as the Canadian GM and in typical Yzerman fashion he un-retired his #19 for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver while winning the gold medal.

When asked after winning gold in Vancouver if he would consider coming back as the Canadian GM, Yzerman said, “I loved it, but it was very stressful. Given the chance to represent Canada and be the guy in charge, if somebody offered it to me, I didn’t hesitate the first time, I wouldn’t hesitate again.”

2014 is history now and Yzerman after dealing with all the pressure of not only being the spokesperson for the picking of the Canadian team and dealing with every backyard GM, he also had to deal with something else.  Yzerman had to deal with the repercussions of not choosing Martin St. Louis for the team, a player he has on his very own Tampa Bay Lightning and a player that was very much criticized for not being chosen.  In the end with Steven Stamkos being injured and not being able to play, St. Louis did end up making it to Sochi and helping Team Canada to the gold medal.  But the repercussions may still be heard as we reach the trade deadline in this year’s NHL season.

But I digress; this is a question about who takes over as Canada’s GM for the 2018 Olympics.  If the NHL lets the players play, but that is a whole other question!  The obvious choices that come to mind have already been in place; Doug Armstrong (St. Louis Blues), Peter Chiarelli (Boston Bruins), Ken Holland (Detroit Red Wings), Kevin Lowe (Edmonton Oilers)

There may be others that are on the outside of this group and deserve a shot for sure, but to me there is no question at all.  The person to take over should be Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings, the man who groomed Steve Yzerman as a NHL executive, the man who has led the Red Wings as General Manager since 1997.  Detroit has won the Stanley Cup 4 times with Holland at the helm; the first in 1997 as Assistant GM, and the latter as GM in 1998, 2002 and 2008.  The Red Wings have also never missed the playoffs under Holland as he continues to keep a competitive team on the ice year after year.

What do you think?

Follow your passion!

Jordan Powers

Posted in Hockey, Olympics