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The Daily: Chris Ilitch Puts Seal of Approval on Detroit Red Wings’ and Tigers’ Rebuilds



Chris Ilitch, Red Wings CEO
Owner Chris Ilitch said he is pleased with the progress Steve Yzerman is making rebuilding the Detroit Red Wings

Not that Steve Yzerman needed a vote of confidence, but he received one Friday from owner Chris Ilitch for the work he is doing rebuilding the Detroit Red Wings.

“When Steve rejoined the organization three years ago, he was very clear, we were very clear we were going to build the roster the right way for long-term success, through drafting and developing,” said Ilitch, the Red Wings’ governor, president and CEO. “I’m very pleased with the development we’ve seen from some of our young players, particularly Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond now succeeding at the NHL level. Bit by bit, through drafting and savvy trades Steve is building a young core. But I think everyone realizes there’s a lot of work to be done to get our team to where we want it to be. But I’m very pleased with the progress of our club.”

Ilitch’s remarks came at the introductory press conference for new Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde. The Red Wings 28th head coach talked about how he will improve the team’s defensive play and make the team harder to play against.

Strong Reviews

Yzerman’s thorough, effective effort to rebuild the Red Wings plays to strong reviews among the team’s fan base. But the issue Chris Ilitch faced at the Lalonde press conference is that the Detroit Tigers, also owned by Ilitch Holdings, are also in a rebuild and fans are displeased by general manager Al Avila’s work. Ilitch’s support of Avila during the Lalonde press conference didn’t play as well.

But Ilitch was at the press conference to talk about Lalonde. He said Yzerman kept him informed throughout the hiring process.

“I have a ton of confidence and a ton of respect for Steve Yzerman and his approach,” Ilitch said. “I’ve been in business just about 40 years now. I’ve been a part of a lot of senior leadership searches. I have to say Steve has been exceptionally thorough and very thoughtful.

Detroit Hockey Now has multiple stories about the hiring including what Derek Lalonde felt about the watching the ESPN documentary on the Colorado-Detroit rivalry from the 1990s. Lalonde was also candid about the Detroit Red Wings‘ chances of making the playoffs next season.

In Case You Missed It

Pavel Datsyuk is hanging up his skates. Details about his retirement from the Kontinental Hockey League.

Here is a listing of the 27 folks who coached the Detroit Red Wings before Derek Lalonde.

Could GM Steve Yzerman be eying Austrian center Marco Kasper with the No. 8 pick in the draft?

Hockey Now Network:

Boston: Columnist Joe Haggerty writes that the Boston Bruins have made the right coaching choice in Jim Montgomery.

Colorado: Hockey Now has all of the answers. Here is how to buy the “Too Many Men” t-shirt worn by Nazem Kadri

Florida: What is the future of Markus Nutivaara with the Florida Panthers?

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Montreal: Why the Montreal Canadiens could benefit from the lack of consensus over who is the best prospect.

New York Islanders: General manager Lou Lamoriello won’t be looking at any buyouts from the New York Islanders roster.

Philadelphia: Goalie Ivan Fedotov, expected to challenge for the Philadelphia Flyers’ back-up goalie spot, reportedly has been arrested in Russia for draft dodging.

Pittsburgh: Dan Kingerski writes that the time has come for Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang to re-sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins or tell them that they will test the free agent market.

San Jose: Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now writes that firing Bob Boughner isn’t fair, but it’s a logical move.

Vancouver: The Vancouver Canucks and Brock Boeser negotiate a compromise on a new three-year that includes a modified no-trade clause in the third season.

Vegas: The Vegas Golden Knights should trade William Karlsson before it is too late.