Detroit Red Wings fans are still bullish on general manager Steve Yzerman, even though the team hasn’t yet made the playoffs under his command.
The Red Wings rank third out of 32 teams in the Athletic’s annual fan survey about how they feel about management’s performance level. The Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning are ranked ahead of Detroit in terms of confidence in management.
The Athletic gave the Red Wings an “A” grade.
The Avalanche are the defending champions and the Lightning won back-to-back titles in 2020 and 2021. The Red Wings missed the playoffs for six consecutive seasons.
But fans are very pleased with Yzerman’s drafting prowess. His two first-round picks, Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, are premium young NHL players. His third first rounder, Simon Edvinsson, will make the Red Wings this season.
Detroit Hockey Now compared the Steve Yzerman Detroit drafts to Ken Holland’s last few drafts in a recent story. It’s clear that Yzerman has found success by drafting players from European pro leagues.
It's fascinating how much confidence people have in Yzerman. The Red Wings got outscored by EIGHTY TWO goals last year. Sure, they're rebuilding & weren't trying to be competitive, but the tear down is the easy part and he hasn't done the hard part in DET. https://t.co/necLJm1nuI
— draglikepull (@draglikepull) August 18, 2022
Yzerman signed eight free agents this summer. He signed two top six forwards (Andrew Copp and David Perron); one former 30-goal scorer (Dominik Kubalik); a goalie coming off a strong 2021-22 season (Ville Husso); plus a shutdown defenseman (Ben Chiarot) and three other veteran defensemen (Olli Maatta, Mark Pysyk and Robert Hagg).
Fans Like Ducks Verbeek
The Anaheim Ducks, with former Yzerman right-hand man Pat Verbeek in charge, now rank seventh. The Ducks boast a quality collection of young, talented players.
The Chicago Blackhawks, Vegas Golden Knights and Philadelphia Flyers received D- grades. That places them in the final three spots in the rankings.
The Flyers are 32nd. They didn’t do very much this offseason. The Flyers didn’t land Johnny Gaudreau who grew up in the Flyers’ backyard. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher displeases fans.