Hockeybuzz’s Allen praises Yzerman, Sakic as quietly dominant as both players and general managers

Long-time hockey scribe Kevin Allen has moved on from USA Today to write articles for several websites.

Today, Allen, writing for Hockeybuzz, praises both Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman and Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic as NHL executives whose qualities off-ice moves have mirrored to their sterling on-ice reputations:

The Red Wings, the NHL’s worst team in 2019-20, were often unwatchable. Yzerman signaled his intention to address that when he completed a trade with the New York Rangers for defenseman Marc Staal.

Yzerman stayed true to his desire to build through the draft by picking up a second round pick in exchange for Staal’s hefty $5.7 million cap hit for one season. But Yzerman also liked the idea of adding a veteran defenseman to his lineup.

Picking No. 4 in the draft, Yzerman took Lucas Raymond, a slick Swedish sensation with the potential to be as good as anyone taken ahead of him. He also earned high praise for his second round pick of 6-foot-4 Swedish defenseman William Wallinder, said to be mobile and rich in offensive potential.

Yzerman was also active in the free agent market, adding forward Bobby Ryan, two more veteran defensemen in Troy Stecher and Jon Merrill, plus goalie Thomas Greiss and center-winger Vladislav Namestnikov. All of them will help make the Red Wings modestly better, and none of them received more than a two-year deal.

You never heard a single rumor about any of those moves until it was about to happen. That’s not how Yzerman operates.


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.