Tag Archives: steve yzerman

Steve Yzerman Returns Home, And With Him, Brings Hope

Early on Friday morning, the Detroit Red Wings have confirmed that the worst kept secret in hockey is indeed coming to fruition. The team will introduce Steve Yzerman as the new general manager in the Motor City during a press conference at 3:00 p.m. ET. Ken Holland, who has been running the ship since 1997, will remain with the organization as the senior vice president.

Yzerman’s reunion with his former team has been speculated since the summer of 2018, if not earlier. Once he relinquished his GM duties to Julien BriseBois at the start of the 2018-19 season, rumours ran rampant. Alas, the prodigal son has returned to the city he led to glory back in the late-1990s and early-2000s, although, the franchise is in a much different state. The Red Wings were synonymous with success for much of Yzerman’s playing career, but the team has missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. They have not won a playoff series since 2012-13. Likewise, gone are the familiar faces that carried the torch when Yzerman retired in 2006. Nicklas Lidstrom has been out of the league since 2011, Pavel Datsyuk has been in the KHL since 2016, and Henrik Zetterberg’s wonky back forced him to retire after the 2017-18 season.

In their place, stands a new young core that Yzerman will attempt to build around. Dylan Larkin is the unquestioned leader of the team at 22-years-old. His 73 points in 2018-19 were the most by a Red Wings’ player since Zetterberg tallied 80 points back in 2011-12. Larkin is the odds-on favourite to become the team’s captain heading into next season and has blossomed into a legitimate NHL center. Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Andreas Athanasiou showcased they are capable of being difference-makers in the waning stretch of the season as they collectively produced 71 points from February to April. Taro Hirose, the Big-10 player of the year in the NCAA, showed promise during a 10-game trial with the team while Filip Zadina, the sixth-overall pick from 2018, is still a tantalizing prospect that will make the jump to the NHL next season.

The defensive side of the roster is a mess, aside from the emergence of Filip Hronek, as aging veterans like Mike Green and Niklas Kronwall are relied upon far too much. This is the largest area that Yzerman will need to overhaul in the coming years if the team is going to regain relevancy. Kronwall does not have a contract for the 2019-20 season yet, and at 38-years-old, it may be best to utilize his roster spot on a younger rearguard like Dennis Cholowski. In goal, Jimmy Howard signed a team-friendly deal for the upcoming season while NCAA-stalwart Filip Larsson is still a few years away.

The team’s salary cap situation is drastically improving, even though there are still some albatrosses on the roster (looking at you, Justin Abdelkader). The Red Wings could have upwards of $19 million in cap space assuming they do not re-sign Kronwall and Thomas Vanek. Furthermore, the Trevor Daley and Jonathan Ericsson will come off of the books at the culmination of the 2019-20 season. While snagging a premium free agent like Artemi Panarin or Erik Karlsson this summer is a fantasy to consider, it does not seem likely that one player will change the fortune of the franchise overnight. With that being said, Yzerman has not shied away from making a big splash in the past. Regardless, financial flexibility allows Yzerman to shape his roster how he pleases.

Yzerman will also have plenty of picks at his disposal for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. While the lottery balls did not fall the Red Wings’ way, they own the sixth-overall pick as well as three picks in the second round. If anything was proven during Yzerman’s tenure with the Lightning, it was his savvy drafting ability (although some credit must be offered to their scouting department). He produced players like Nikita Kucherov (58th overall), Ondrej Palat (208th overall), Brayden Point (79th overall), and countless other NHL-caliber players outside of the draft’s top round. In today’s NHL, drafting well is the only way to build a sustainable winner and Yzerman will be leading the war room come June 21.

All of this equates to one word: hope. Yzerman, a fresh-faced center out of Peterborough, gave the Red Wings hope when he was drafted back in 1983. He blossomed into a star and gave them hope in the 1990s when they had not won the Stanley Cup in 42 years. Now, he is back to the lead the team, albeit in a different role, but with hope riding on his shoulders yet again. It may not be a quick fix, but Yzerman is the man for the job, and he has Red Wings fans daydreaming about the future once more.

The Jersday Blog November 8, 2018

Jersey Round-Up

Buddy Hield New Orleans Pelicans Alternate Adidas Jersey

Buddy Buckets baby. Is there a riskier lottery pick than the limitless range college assassin? For every Steph Curry there seems to be hundreds of busts like Jimmer Fredette, Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas.

Buddy is still young enough that he could still figure it out and develop into a CJ McCollum type game breaker. It was probably a bit of a stretch for the Kings to make him the centre piece of the Boogie Cousins trade but the offensive upside still remains.

I’m not a huge fan of the Pelicans jerseys or colour scheme in general so for me to pick one up it would purely be because of the name on the back. The shortlist of Pelicans that move the needle for me: Anthony Davis, Demarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, any Lance Stephenson jersey plays, Jimmer Freddette (a bust but a legend) and Buddy Hield. If you don’t think Buddy is worth your hard earned cash soak up some of these college highlights:

Oklahoma Buddy Hield was a tsunami of buckets.

Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers Away Adidas Jersey

I like the cut of Damian Lillard’s gib. He’s an all-star calibre point guard who is just on the outside looking in when it comes to the upper echelon of point guards. While some players would be content with that standing and the paycheque it comes with, Dame Dolla plays with a chip on his shoulder. Whether he’s spitting bars or hitting game winning jumpers, Lillard’s a fun guy to root for.

This is one of my favourite jerseys in my closet because of Portland’s unique and sleek design. Also Lillard is a good enough player that people want to rock his jersey and just fringy enough to impress some basketball fans. Plus I got this one super cheap from the NBA store when the league was shifting to the Nike brand so every old Adidas jersey was on clearance. Pro tip: keep an eye on the MLB or any team stores when the league shifts from Majestic to Under Armour in the winter of 2020.

Lebron James Cleveland Cavaliers Mid-2000s Away Adidas Jersey

The 2000’s Cavaliers jerseys are so bland and inoffensive it’s hard to really love them. The 2000’s in general were a time for pale colours, bland designs and mediocre logos. But wearing this era of Lebron jersey really shows that my boy Mikey G as a day one Lebron fan. Before Lebron gained 50 pounds, won his rings and moved to LA, he was a high-flying freak who carried the decrepit corpse of a Cavs roster to the 2007 NBA Finals. Championship Lebron had Wade, Bosh, Kyrie and Love. 2007 Lebron had Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. 2007 Lebron was my favourite Lebron.

Image result for 2007 lebron james

Phil Kessel Toronto Maple Leafs Alternate Reebok Jersey

If you don’t love me at my:

Then you don’t deserve me at my:

Image result for phil kessel hot dog

Phil Kessel is a Stanley Cup champion. Deal with it Steve Simmons.

Any Leafs fan with a jersey circa 2016 (the year of our saviour Auston Matthews) is a true ride or die fan.

Steve Yzerman 1984 Campbell Division All-Star Jersey

Ray continues to hit home runs with his jersey game. This Yzerman jersey brings some major heat. When Yzerman wore this jersey in 1984, he was the the third-youngest to play in an NHL All-Star Game at 18 years and 267 days old. Per Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com:

“He was the third-youngest to play in an NHL All-Star Game, after Fleming Mackell of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1947 (18 years, 166 days) and Larry Hillman of the Red Wings in 1955 (18 years, 259 days). But Yzerman was the youngest to play in an All-Star Game who wasn’t a member of a defending Stanley Cup champion, which was the old format.

Not until Jan. 30, 2011, when Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner played in the All-Star Game at age 18 years, 259 days, did someone younger do it.

He found himself in the locker room at the All-Star Game with Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Wayne Gretzky, Lanny McDonald, Mark Messier and Denis Savard, with whom he now is enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.”

Charlie Conway Mighty Ducks Jersey

The Charlie Conway jersey seen around the world:

As someone with a front row seat to this scene, I can say with certainty that this video from the 2017 Brock St. Patties Day must be the hardest that someone has been hit by a door. Once you get past the linebacker trying to run through the door and the unsuspecting recipient of the door’s wrath, it is obvious that the star of this video is Adam AKA the laughing captain Charlie Conway.

The Weekly Jersey Dump

I had these Heat ranked as my number one in my quick hitting City Jersey Power Rankings last week. I’ll dedicate a whole blog to the jerseys once they’ve all been released.

The Cavaliers continue to be a punching bag. While I like that they didn’t play it safe with their City Jerseys… they maybe should’ve played it safe with their City Jerseys.

Pandering to the huge Chinese basketball market is never a bad idea. Money is money.

I’m not a big camo guy so these jerseys don’t  really do it for me. I’m sure the intersection of hype beasts and hoops fans will gobble these up.

 

 

Fortnite! Football! Sure!

These are actually pretty cool!

So are these!

These are not!

The Red Wings jersey is basic, the Bruins jersey has too much going on, the Leafs jerseys are rip-offs of the old Summit Series jerseys,

Image result for canada summit series

the Rangers jerseys look like Tommy Hilfiger sweaters, the Black Hawks are just gross looking and Montreal…just sucks. Good for the NHL to try something new with their video game-exclusive jerseys, but the end result looks like they’re not even trying.

 

Speaking of not trying, what’s up with Tampa Bays new jerseys?

The Kings alternate is fine if not unspectacular. The St. Pats jerseys always seem to play with the hockey jersey crowd when the Leafs bring them back.

These are very sharp. My early impression is that I think that they’re my favourite Bruins Stadium Series/Winter Classic jerseys to date. Which is saying a lot because the Bruins always seem to hit these out of the park.

**Update because jersey news doesn’t rest**

The Toronto Raptors may as well just take my money right now.

These are kind of cool in the sense that you don’t see a lot of pure black with white accent colour schemes. The ones that immediately come to mind are the old Islanders third jersey and the current Brooklyn Nets look. Although these do kinda make Toews look like a bit of a jail bird.

Also shout out to my boy Mitch interning at the Brampton Beast. Meant to get this jersey in the blog earlier. These Remembrance Day jerseys are really nice.

Jersey Foul

 

 

 

These jerseys went viral last Sunday when the Packers and Patriots squared off in one of the most anticipated games of the weekend. In my mind nothing encapsulates the participation trophy generation more than these kids. Sports are about winning and being the best. Sports fandoms deal in absolutes and passion. It means participating in Lebron vs. Jordan debates and not hedging in saying “well I think they both have their merits and are certainly two of the best of all-time.”

Sports aren’t a democracy. It’s supposed to be entertainment. Have a take. Believe in something. Sports are irrational. There is no rationality in the Rodgers vs. Brady discussion. Brady has the rings. Rodgers has the arm. But if you sew together a custom combo jersey you’re an all-time cuckold. Pick a lane and stay in it. That’s true sports fandom.

If you want to show off a sweet jersey or want to put a buddy with a jersey-buying problem on blast, be sure to send your submissions to me over Twitter @twaind4