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Yzerman sharpening front-office skills

Friday, 09.19.2008 / 8:36 PM ET / Features
By Dan Rosen
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Yzerman sharpening front-office skills

When Steve Yzerman retired in 2006, he became the Red Wings Vice President and Alternate Governor with his eye set on one day running a team and winning a Cup on the management side.
WATCH Yzerman scores his 500th goal
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- When you hang around the Red Wings for a while, you're bound to interact with some legends of the game. Few are bigger than Steve Yzerman.

"Stevie Y," as the hockey world knows him, retired after the 2005-06 season with 1,755 points in 1,514 games, three Stanley Cup rings and a 20-season reign as the Red Wings’ captain, the longest tenure in NHL history.

Yzerman, who is sixth on the list of the NHL's all-time leading scorers, jumped right to Detroit's management team upon retiring back on July 3, 2006. This year, he took on the dual title of vice president and alternate governor of the Red Wings.

Yzerman gracefully took some time at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament for an exclusive Q&A with Describe what you're doing for the Red Wings on a day-to-day basis now?
Yzerman:  "Well, mostly I just hang around the rink and watch a lot of hockey games. I try to watch our prospects play. I try to watch our minor league team play. I try to spend as much time as I can with Kenny (Holland), Jim Nill and (Director of Hockey Administration) Ryan Martin in the front office, observe and listen as to how they run the team and offer my input on players when asked." What do you think your future is on this end of the game?
Yzerman: "I'd like to run a team one day. I am interested in a lot of different aspects in hockey and my goal is to run a team one day." Did you think when you finished up that you would be in management so quickly? Was this a goal for you?
Yzerman: "Well, what I'm doing right now isn't the final goal. I always wanted to be a part of management. I like the game and I like being a part of a team. Upon retirement, and even before retirement, I knew I wanted to get into management." What about it interests you the most?
Yzerman: "I think it would be a great challenge to put together a team to win the Stanley Cup." That's it?
Yzerman: "That's all there is." What's your favorite part about your current job?
Yzerman: "I really enjoy being associated and working with our staff. I like the people personally. They're a lot of fun, and I really learn a lot. I don't know if there is anything specific, but I like sitting around and talking hockey. Whether we're talking about contracts or a player, any situation I enjoy talking about." How much are you involved in prospect development and what some of your views on your prospects?
Yzerman: "I'm not really involved in the development. (Director of Player Development) Jiri Fischer spends a lot more time traveling and spending time with the players. I watch them. The kids that we draft, I try to keep an eye on them and see their development. For me, it's a good learning experience watching them develop from year to year. Over the course of a few years I'll learn a lot about how they develop, which ones become pros and why they become pros." Do you interact with them?
Yzerman: "Yeah, a little bit. I try to if I'm at one of their games to stop by and say hello." Is it hockey player to hockey player, or are these young guys, who know who you are, somewhat reserved around you?
Yzerman: "Yeah, most of the young kids are very quiet. They don't say much. You get one-word answers. They're shy, so it's tough to get a lot out of them." Do you think it's because you are you, a legend in the game, or is that just their nature?
Yzerman: "No, I think that's just their nature. It's not me." You're up for the Hall of Fame in 2009. Do you think about it? This could be a great class, one that rivals the one that just went in with you, Luc Robitaille, Brian Leetch, Brett Hull all eligible. Do you let your mind wander to that?
Yzerman: "No. You know, of course I'd love to be in the Hall of Fame, but we'll see. It's not something I spend a lot of time thinking about."




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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