When Steve Yzerman announced in September that he was stepping away from his role as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, all eyes immediately turned to Detroit where Yzerman’s former team is deep in a rebuild.
And the fit makes sense. A rebuilding team recruiting a former captain who also has a successful track record as a GM. How could it not work?
But Ken Holland is currently the GM of the Red Wings, and in a recent interview with The Hockey News, Holland said he isn’t worried about his job.
“I’ve been a manager in the league for 23 years. I’ve won three Stanley Cups, five Presidents’ Trophies. I don’t look over my shoulder,” Holland said when asked about Yzerman.
(Editor’s note: The Red Wings have won four Presidents’ Trophies in Ken Holland’s time as general manager.)
The Red Wings gave Holland a two-year contract extension in April, and at the time team owner Chris Illitch said: “We think Ken is the right guy to lead (a rebuild) for our organization, so we’re thrilled to have him back.”
But when Yzerman stepped down in September, the main reason he gave for his decision was to be closer to his family, who stayed in the Detroit area when Yzerman moved to Florida.
“I feel this change in role is important for me to allow me to spend more time with my family and to still make sure the Lightning is managed to the level everyone has come to expect,” Yzerman said in September.
The Red Wings are currently 0-4-2 and appear poised to miss the playoffs for the third straight season. When that happens, Holland’s future with the team will likely be called into question by fans and local media, as it was at the end of last season.
Yzerman has one more year left on his contract with the Lightning and is currently serving as a senior advisor with the team. He will be free to take on a new job next summer but whether that is in Detroit or not remains to be seen.
“I just think all of us have to keep working, keep grinding and everything takes care of itself,” Holland said.