Haas: Ruthless Yzerman Is Just What Bolts Need
Steve Yzerman is a very calculated, very logical and very emotionless general manager. This is a very good thing for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Much has been said and written after Martin St. Louis was left off of Yzerman’s Team Canada roster, just as he was in 2010. Whether or not that was the right decision or if there are inferior players on the team is not being discussed here. When pressed for a comment, a very common Yzerman answer was something akin to, “I have the power to override my cohorts, but there’d be no point in having them if I did.” While many have interpreted this as Yzerman failing to fight for his player, it should be taken in a much more positive light. (Photo/Susan Ferlita)
What many people may not realize is that this has been Yzerman’s modus operandi all along. There were not many who expected to hear Slater Koekkoek’s name called at number ten in the 2012 draft, but Yzerman trusted in his scouting department and didn’t select the player that was expected to go next. Perhaps a better example is a willingness to do what is best for the team, regardless of how it makes him look. Yzerman could very well have forced Jon Cooper to make Keith Aulie a lineup regular before his injury. After all, the Lightning GM gave up a first round talent in Carter Ashton to acquire him. Instead, Yzerman is allowing players to slot themselves in the depth chart as opposed to the other way around. Perhaps sixth overall pick Brett Connolly should be on the NHL roster instead of 208th overall pick Ondrej Palat. That’d be more typical, right? Steve Yzerman isn’t your typical GM, folks.
The arguments made here are varied and some are certainly stronger than others. If you are to take one thing away from this article, it should be this: Steve Yzerman does what he wants and he owns his decisions. When Anders Lindback struggled to take the number one goalie job in 2012-13, Yzerman went out and acquired Ben Bishop. He made no apologies for the treasure chest that he sent to Nashville for Lindback, instead, he focused on why Bishop was an important acquisition for the team. The fact that he and his Olympic staff did not select St. Louis for Team Canada left many Lightning fans feeling rightfully upset and curious as to the Yzerman/St. Louis dynamic. However, Lightning fans should take it another way and be thankful that their GM has the intestinal fortitude to make an unpopular decision.
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